Aer Arann plans to join Europe's top tier of regional airlines by 2015 and to double its passenger numbers to over two million in five years, it has been announced..
The airline also confirmed a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in 2012, with total passenger growth of 16% in the past two years.
Announcing a 'new beginning' at the airline, Sean Brogan, Interim Chief Executive, Aer Arann outlined a package of measures to grow its customer base and route network, including:
- Fleet renewal programme: the airline will be taking delivery of eight new aircraft. The new aircraft, ATR 72-600s, will replace the older existing fleet of ATR72-200s and ATR42s. The first new plane will commence service this May, with the remaining aircraft expected for delivery over the next 11 months. The new fleet will be fully operational in time for the summer 2014 programme.
- Additional frequencies on key UK routes: commencing this summer, Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, will add services to the existing Aer Lingus routes of Dublin Birmingham and Dublin Manchester. These additional services will increase passenger numbers by 300,000 by the end of 2014 and bring the airline's route network to 24.
Combined with existing Aer Lingus mainline services to Manchester and Birmingham, these new services will result in a significant ramping up of frequencies to two of the busiest routes on the Ireland to UK network. Specifically, services on the Dublin-Birmingham route will go from three to six services per day while services on the Dublin-Manchester routes will go from three to five per day.
It also means that the airline will be operating routes to the main UK cities. The Stobart Group is also advancing plans to add flights to London Southend airport.
- Expansion of services: the airline is to increase frequencies on its Dublin Edinburgh and Dublin Glasgow routes. Specifically, services on the Dublin Edinburgh route will go from four up to six services per day while services on the Dublin Glasgow route will go from four up to six per day.
- Successful restructuring: a successful restructuring of the company has been completed, putting the airline on a strong financial footing.
- Extension of Aer Lingus agreement: the airline has extended its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, which will see Aer Arann operate under the Aer Lingus Regional brand until the end of 2022.
Announcing the airline's new beginning, Sean Brogan said: "Just over two years ago, we stared closure in the face. Now, we have the fundamentals in place to join Europe's top tier of regional airlines.
"The completion of our restructuring programme represents a new beginning for the airline. Our extended franchise agreement with Aer Lingus to 2022 gives us a firm foundation for growth, and the fleet renewal programme allows us to enhance the passenger offering further."
Concluding, Mr Brogan said: "We have come a long way in a short time, but much remains to be done. We will only continue to push forward positively if we maximise the opportunities that have been secured."
About Aer Lingus:
Aer Lingus was founded by the Irish Government in April 1936 to provide air services to/from Ireland. The first flight, from Dublin to Bristol, took place on May 27th 1936.
Aer Lingus' low-cost, low fares model is centered on maintaining low unit cost, offering one way fares, maintaining effective fleet utilisation and developing the Aer Lingus brand. Consistent with this low-cost model, Aer Lingus' primary distribution channel is its website aerlingus.com where customers can find a number of cheap flight deals, as well as take advantage of the Aer Lingus check in app, purchase travel vouchers and peruse other Ireland flight deals.
Aer Lingus provides a cargo transportation service on some of its scheduled passenger routes, including cheap flights to the USA and Europe. Aer Lingus provides mail transportation services between Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Aer Lingus Corporate Communications
Aer Lingus Head Office
00 353 86 6172702
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