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Aer Lingus–Aer Arann franchise begins

The first Aer Lingus Regional flights have taken place as the franchise agreement between Aer Arann and Aer Lingus, began on 12 routes from Dublin and Cork.

Of the 12 routes, six are operating from Dublin to the UK, with the remaining six serving the UK and France from Cork. The new route network increases frequency on busy business and leisure services between Dublin and both Glasgow and Edinburgh, while also offering direct connectivity from a number of UK regions to Aer Lingus trans-Atlantic services.

There are also three new routes among the 12: Dublin to Doncaster-Sheffield; Dublin to Durham Tees Valley, and Cork to Glasgow International. The remaining nine routes are services that were previously operated by either Aer Arann or Aer Lingus.

Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus chief commercial officer, commented, “The expanded route network will enable us to serve key UK regional destinations with improved frequency and schedule options, while providing connectivity with our transatlantic network.”

Aer Arann chief executive Paul Schütz welcomed the franchise agreement saying, “With our franchise partner we have created a product that offers a customer-focussed schedule. The additional flights on existing routes combined with new direct services linking regional centres in the UK with Ireland offers a significant boost to both business and the tourism industry at a time when it is badly needed.

“Our combined brand power and quality products make it an excellent service for passengers and we look forward to welcoming both new and existing Aer Arann and Aer Lingus customers on board our flights from today”, he continued.

The Aer Lingus Regional service is operated by Aer Arann ATR 72-500 aircraft and crew. All franchise flights are sold and distributed through www.aerlingus.com.

The new agreement significantly increases Aer Lingus presence in the Ireland–UK market including services to Ireland from Bristol, Blackpool, Cardiff, Doncaster-Sheffield, Durham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In addition to the UK routes, new seasonal services from Cork to Jersey in the Channel Islands and La Rochelle in France will begin operating in May.

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