12 OCTOBER 2020
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Aer Lingus has published a tender for the operation of its Aer Lingus Regional brand ahead of the expiration of its existing contract with with Dublin-based Stobart Air at the end of 2022.
Former International Airlines Group (IAG) Chief Executive Willie Walsh said earlier this year that a number of other airlines had already approached IAG and its Irish subsidiary about the contract.
Stobart Air currently operates one ATR42-600 and 12 ATR72-600s on behalf of Aer Lingus. The smaller turboprop is used on routes from Dublin to the Isle of Man and Donegal, while the larger Avions de Transport Régional aircraft fly to various destinations in the UK from Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast City where five aircraft are based.
It does not operate any other scheduled or charter flights on top of its Aer Lingus Regional operations. Earlier this year, the carrier said it hoped to extend its contract with Aer Lingus to ensure a "sound financial footing" for its business going forward.
Stobart Group, which owns Stobart Air and Southend Airport, is said to be currently in talks over the sale of its stake in the airline and lessor Propius Leasing to another lessor, Falko Regional Aircraft which has its origins at BAe Regional Aircraft and is the recent owner of CityJet, now solely a wet lease operator.
The LSE listed engineering group sold Stobart Air to the Connect Airways consortium as a part of the doomed takeover plan for Flybe. Following an arrangement with the receivers it is now owned by Everdeal Holdings Ltd, which is owned by the Stobart Group (45%); Invesco (42%); Cenkos Securities (8%); and Pádraig Ó Céidigh (5%), Aer Arann's former Chairman.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Joseph O\'Shea, Belfast
Why doesn’t BA CityFlyer base some of its jets at Belfast City Airport. Far more comfortable than the ATR’s, as has been noted in the piece about the Southampton route. Cityflyer must have some spare planes with the reduction at London City Airport. Much better airport than Aldergrove!