Airlines

Published on November 16th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer

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Stobart Air Lose out on Aer Lingus Regional Franchise

The franchise agreement between Aer Lingus and Stobart Air to operate the Aer Lingus Regional still has two years to run, however, news reports over the weekend suggest that a new airline, Emerald Airlines, will take over in January 2023.

Emerald Airlines was recently established by Conor McCarthy who is the Executive Chairman of Dublin Aerospace. The new airline is now the preferred bidder for the contract which will run from 2023 until 2033. Industry sources consider it likely that Emerald Airlines may look at a takeover of Stobart Air which is currently up for sale by its owners, the UK based Stobart Group.

Stobart Air Chief Executive Warwick Brady said it was disappointing but that it would not change the company’s decision to sell the aviation division. He said: “Whilst a disappointing decision by Aer Lingus, we believe that Stobart Air is a strategic and attractive asset for a potential buyer with a number of options open to it in terms of continued operations beyond its current franchise agreement with Aer Lingus. It is well placed to build on the eight years of reliable, customer focused connectivity between Ireland and the UK and utilise its European Air Operator Certificate to operate out of Ireland and seek further franchise or independent flying arrangements” He also confirmed that the Stobart Group was in discussions with a number of possible suitors for the airline with a possible decision being made before the end of the current financial year.

In a statement issued to the staff, Stobart Air thanked the staff for their continued hard work, dedication and ongoing commitment to the airline. The airline will continue to deliver the service up to 31st December 2022 in accordance with their current franchise contract.

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