Published on November 19th, 2018 | by Mark Dwyer0
Stobart Air News
Stobart Air has signed an aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) agreement to operate routes from London City Airport under the BA CityFlyer brand. The first aircraft, Embraer 190 EI-GHK, was noted training at Southend on 17th November and is expected to enter service shortly. The route will use two Embraer 190s on a three-year lease agreement with Nordic Aviation Capital
Stobart Air also announced its intention to add 40 new people, with the recruitment of 10 captains and first officers as well as 30 cabin crew. The airline will shortly take delivery of an Embraer 195LR EI-GGB leased from its own subsidiary Propius Leasing. The airline already operates two Embraer 195’s (G-FBEF and G-FBEH) one of which operates Dublin-Southend on a Flybe franchise. The E195 is not approved for London City operations.
Ryanair to open a base at Southend
Stobart Group owned Southend Airport will become a new base for Ryanair opening in April 2019. The base will open with three aircraft serving 13 new routes in eight countries. 55 weekly planned trips are planned including Alicante (5 pw), Barcelona Reus (2 pw), Bilbao (4 pw), Brest (2 pw), Corfu (2 pw), Cluj (3 pw), Dublin (2 daily), Faro (5 pw), Kosice (3 pw), Malaga (5 pw), Milan Bergamo (4 pw), Palma (4 pw) & Venice (4 pw), which will deliver 1 million passengers annually at London Southend Airport.
This is a five-year agreement, extendable to ten, and agreed on standard commercial terms according to Stobart Group. Stobart Air will now compete directly with Ryanair on the Dublin route. Southend will be one of the shortest runways in the Ryanair network with a landing distance of 1604 metres (compared to 2637 metres in Dublin). It’s understood that the company will only be using the 737-800 SFP (Short Field Package) models at Southend (EI-FZX and later).
Carlisle Airport still not Opened
Flights from Stobart’s Carlisle Airport will now not take off until next year. In addition to the shortage of qualified air traffic control officers and some areas of the “construction programme require additional time to achieve regulatory approval”.
Kate Willard, head of corporate projects at Stobart Group, said “We know how much the launch of commercial flights at the airport means for Cumbria, the south of Scotland, and the Lake District…. We have been working around the clock and physically we are ready. But it is extremely important that this major project, which will connect the region to the tourism and business hubs of London, Dublin and Belfast, is safe and operationally compliant so as to be sustainable in the long term.”
“This requires both a full complement of trained and experienced operational staff being in place from commencement – to deliver a sustainable flight timetable – and also an infrastructure which fully meets regulatory requirements.
Aer Lingus Regional
Earlier in the year Stobart Air announced a 10% increase in passengers on the Dublin-Kerry (12%) and Dublin-Donegal (8%) Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes in the six months after the PSO renewal on 1st February versus the same period last year. The renewed contract will see Stobart Air operate the PSO services under the Aer Lingus Regional brand until 31st January 2022. In total, the airline has carried over 48,000 passengers on the routes in the first 6 months since the contract was renewed.
The airline reports that 23% of passengers on the Donegal route take a day trip, while one quarter of passengers are travelling for business. On Kerry route, 27% of passengers travel for business, 13% use the service for leisure, while one in 10 passengers take a day trip. 15% stay overnight in Kerry. The routes also allow connectivity for passengers travelling from Kerry and Donegal to North America on Aer Lingus mainline services, via Dublin Airport.