Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines strengthen Aer Lingus regional network


Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines announced the details of the start of Regional Aer Lingus flights, with tickets now on sale.

Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton with Emerald Airlines CEO Conor McCarthy and an Emerald Airline ATR72-600 – Image, Aer Lingus

Emerald Airlines will operate flights under a franchise agreement. Flights will begin March 17, 2022, with Emerald Airlines operating as Aer Lingus Regional.

Emerald Airlines will operate over 340 flights per week on 11 routes with fares starting at € 29.99 / £ 35.99, with further route announcements to be made in the coming weeks.

So, what are they planning to operate on?

Here is the list, with the 11 routes listed.

Airport Road Start date Frequency Leader in price return on investment Lead in UK price
Glasgow Dubin – Glasgow 17-Mar-22 up to 4x per day € 29.99 £ 35.99
Isle of man Dubin – Isle of Man 17-Mar-22 6x per week € 37.99 £ 39.99
Birmingham Dublin-Birmingham 27-Mar-22 up to 3x per day € 25.99 £ 25.99
Bristol Dubin – Bristol 27-Mar-22 up to 3x per day € 29.99 £ 37.99
Edinburgh Dubin – Edinburgh 27-Mar-22 up to 4x per day € 29.99 £ 37.99
Manchester Dubin – Manchester 27-Mar-22 up to 3x per day € 25.99 £ 25.99
Leeds Dubin – Leeds 15-Apr-22 up to 2x per day € 29.99 £ 36.99
Newcastle Dubin – Newcastle 15-Apr-22 5x per week € 29.99 £ 34.99
Exeter Dubin – Exeter 29-Apr-22 5x per week € 29.99 £ 34.99
Cornwall Newquay Dubin – Newquay 29-Apr-22 4x per week € 37.99 £ 38.99
Jersey Dubin-Jersy 28-May-22 1x per week € 42.99 £ 38.99

Flights will in most cases allow connections to the Aer Lingus long-haul network based out of Dublin Airport, allowing connections to New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. In some cases, Emerald Airlines is establishing new connections and in some cases the only airline offering service to Ireland.

Emerald Airlines will continue to use ATR aircraft in its planned operations, focusing on the ATR72-600 turboprop.

The planned launch of the regional Aer Lingus routes operated by Emerald Airlines will increase connectivity between the UK, Ireland and the US, and accelerate Aer Lingus’ strategy to expand Dublin Airport as a hub airport.

Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus said:

“Today, it’s a question of opportunities. Opportunities for our UK customers to easily connect to Aer Lingus flights to North America and take advantage of US preclearance facilities. Opportunities for customers in the UK and Ireland as we expand the regional Aer Lingus network. And opportunities for the Irish economy and aviation as we expand our hub in Dublin.

“It was a pleasure to work with the Emerald Airlines team to accelerate this partnership and start operations 10 months ahead of the initial schedule. We all look forward to welcoming our customers aboard Aer Lingus Regional services, operated by Emerald Airlines.

Conor McCarthy, CEO of Emerald Airlines said:

“We are delighted to be able to begin operations under our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus well ahead of plan, in line with the recovery in customer demand. Now is the time for Emerald Airlines to begin operations under the regional Aer Lingus brand and we really look forward to welcoming our customers on board our flights next February.

“Our customer-focused schedules will provide choice, convenience and excellent value for regional and transatlantic air travel. This announcement is a big boost for Ireland’s connectivity to the UK, including cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Newcastle, Bristol and Leeds. Emerald Airlines will offer a high frequency program with convenient flight schedules to facilitate both business and leisure passengers.

“Emerald also set up an airline in Northern Ireland (Emerald Airlines UK Ltd) and applied to the UK CAA for a UK AOC and an operating license. We are confident this will help maintain long-term connectivity across the Irish Sea and boost business and leisure travel between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. We have already entered into a long term business agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport and look forward to connecting Belfast to many UK cities as soon as possible in 2022. Further details, routes and launch dates regarding the operation of Belfast will be announced in the New Year.

Restoration of routes

As demand returns, airlines are rebalancing their networks – including Aer Lingus which fell out with IAG partners to fill connectivity after the collapse of Stobart Air.

With Emerald Airlines there will hopefully be a period of stability, where a proven regional network can settle down and carry passengers – both within Ireland and beyond.

It will be interesting to see what capacity is traded and which routes the mainline Aer Lingus wants to continue to operate as airlines adjust to a new life.

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