Emerald Airlines will lease six aircraft destined for its Aer Lingus Regional services from Canada's Chorus Aviation Capital.
Founded by aviation entrepreneur, Conor McCarthy, Emerald recently secured a deal to operate the Aer Lingus Regional franchise, formerly held by Stobart Air.
The Dublin-based carrier confirmed on Tuesday that it has agreed a deal with Toronto-listed Chorus to lease six ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft for use on the regional network.
Emerald expects to receive the first ATR this month, with the remaining aircraft due for delivery over the next year.
Mr McCarthy said the aircraft was essential to Emerald's plan to offer affordable air travel across Ireland and Britain.
Less carbon dioxide
“ATRs have proven themselves in tough environments featuring unrivalled performances, leading edge comfort and an unmatched reliability,” he said.
“These are the right aircraft for our passengers and our airline and will be a great asset to our company.”
According to Emerald, the ATR72-600 emits 40 per cent less carbon dioxide on short regional flights than other aircraft, giving it a significant environmental advantage. Emerald will ultimately have 14 of these planes.
Aer Lingus this month struck a 10-year deal with Emerald to fly its regional services from January 1st 2023, although it is likely that it will begin operating some routes before that date.
Mr McCarthy predicted that his carrier would fly around two million passengers a-year by the end of 2023.
At full strength, the Aer Lingus regional network has more than 30 routes connecting Ireland, Britain, the Isle of Man and Jersey.
The service feeds passengers to Aer Lingus North American flights at Dublin to and from British regional airports, as well as connecting destinations in the two countries.
Aer Lingus grew its transatlantic business from early in the last decade by increasingly using the Republic’s biggest airport as a hub for passengers transferring between North American and European flights.
Emerald predicted that the ATR aircraft would play a key role in restoring air links between Ireland and Britain in the wake of the damage done by Covid-19 restrictions.
Stobart Air was originally due to operate the Aer Lingus Regional service until the end of 2022, but the airline folded in June.
Aer Lingus had been in talks with Emerald on taking on a new contract in 2023. The larger airline and its sister carrier, BA, stepped into some regional routes temporarily to ensure services continued.
Emerald and its partner are working towards the airline taking over some of these routes ahead of the contract’s official start date in 2023.
Steven Ridolfi, president of Chorus Aviation Capital, welcomed Emerald as a new customer.
“The Emerald management team has a wealth of experience in regional aviation, and we look forward to their success as an air service provider,” he said.
Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Canadian group's businesses comprise Chorus Aviation Capital - which leases regional aircraft to airlines around the world - Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation.