Aer Lingus Regional to add 10,000 seats
Expansion includes four extra aircraft on routes from Dublin to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff
Aer Lingus Regional cabin crew Mary Bourke and Ciara Moore launching the winter schedule at the first flight to Newcastle. Photograph: Keith Arkins/Naoise Culhane
Aer Lingus Regional is boosting flight numbers and adding 10,000 seats over the winter months.
The service, operated by Aer Arann under contract from the larger airline, added its 25th route last week when its first Dublin-Newcastle flight took off on Thursday.
Aer Lingus Regional will add 50 extra flights on services from Dublin to Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow and another eight weekly flights from Cork to Birmingham and Manchester.
At the same time, Aer Arann said yesterday that demand for its three daily return services between Dublin and London Southend Airport is continuing to grow.
As a result, one of its new ATR 600 craft will operate on the route, increasing seat numbers by 15 per cent.
The airline is targeting transatlantic travellers from British regional airports, as they can fly into Terminal Two at Dublin Airport, and complete US customs and border clearance there, before connecting to a number of services to the US.
Plans to expand
Earlier this year, Aer Arann announced a series of plans to expand the business, including expanding services on its network and hiring 50 new staff.
As part of that programme, it agreed to buy eight new ATR 600 aircraft at a cost of €144 million.
The airline said yesterday that four of these new craft have entered service on routes from Dublin to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff.
Its chief commercial officer, Simon Fagan, explained that the addition of the Dublin-Newcastle route and the extra flights on existing services were the next steps in the expansion.
“’We recently welcomed the Government’s announcement on the removal of the travel tax from April 2014, which will help the airline grow its network further and reach its goal of carrying 1.4 million passengers by 2014,” Mr Fagan added.