Esken reaches deal on Stobart Air sale to Ettyl

Transport and energy group put Irish carrier up for sale after losses caused by Covid-19 travel restrictions

Stobart Air's majority owner Esken has reached a deal with Isle of Man group Ettyl to sell the airline.

The company announced this morning it had reached a deal on the sale, weeks after its expected deadline for divesting its stake in the airline had passed. Esken, formerly Stobart Group, previously said it hoped to sell the Irish carrier by the end of its financial year on February 28th.

"Stobart Air is pleased that this transaction is now concluded and a new owner of the airline is in place. This transaction is a significant testament to, and endorsement of, the value Ettyl see in our airline, in our product, in the service we provide and, importantly, in our people," the company said in a statement.

“Under new ownership, the airline is now well positioned to embrace new opportunities as markets return and economies begin to recover from the impact of the pandemic.”


Transport and energy group Esken put Stobart Air up for sale last year as it continued to lose cash in the face of the Republic’s tough Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Stobart has the contract to operate the Aer Lingus Regional franchise, which links the Republic's airports with provincial centres in Britain through to the end of December next year, a contract it has held since 2011. Last November, Aer Lingus began exclusive negotiations with Emerald Airlines, controlled by businessman Conor McCarthy, to take over the contract.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist