Aer Arann’s namechange marks end of new beginning

Aircraft will continue inAer Lingus livery

Aer Arann’s majority shareholder is putting its corporate stamp on the regional carrier and from today is re-naming it Stobart Air, after the transport and logistics group that took over the bulk of its shares following the company’s examinership in 2010.

Aer Arann’s majority shareholder is putting its corporate stamp on the regional carrier and from today is re-naming it Stobart Air, after the transport and logistics group that took over the bulk of its shares following the company’s examinership in 2010.

Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 01:01

Aer Arann’s majority shareholder is putting its corporate stamp on the regional carrier and from today is re-naming it Stobart Air, after the transport and logistics group that took over the bulk of its shares following the company’s examinership in 2010.

However, you will not be seeing the name emblazoned on the side of any of its aircraft, as these will continue to fly in the Aer Lingus livery under its franchise deal to operate the larger airline’s regional services.

The name change will apply only to the company, which yesterday said that the transition will be complete by the end of the year and would mark the end of the airline’s “new beginning” that began with Stobart’s investment and its financial restructuring.

That fresh start included the deal with Aer Lingus, which has been extended to 2022 and the acquisition of new craft, the French-manufactured ATR 72-600s, of which it began taking delivery last year.

Aer Arann now operates 550 flights a-week across 27 routes connecting Ireland, Britain and France.

The company said that its next phase will be to try and replicate the Aer Lingus regional model with other airlines, using the existing business and connections with the Republic’s biggest airports and Southend Airport as a base for this.

According to a statement a, Stobart Air aims to become a specialist in franchise or contract flying for European airlines and wants to “double its passenger numbers within five years”.

Stobart, whose trucks are a familiar sight in Ireland thanks to a deal with Tesco, is clearly intent on expanding its presence in aviation. Along with Southend and Stobart Air, the group also owns Carlisle Lake District Airport, plus various air freight, maintenance and airport services businesses.

Meanwhile, one person who thinks the name change is “very positive” is Pádraig Ó Céidigh, the man who founded Aer Arann in the first place, and who still runs a service between Galway and the Arann Islands under that brand.

His business, he says, “has always been called Aer Arann and it will always be called Aer Arann.”

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