Aer Lingus has entered into a franchise agreement with Emerald Airlines.
The deal, which will commence in January 2023, will run for a period of ten years for the operation of Aer Lingus Regional flights.
Although the contract is not due to commence for 18 months, Aer Lingus continues to work closely with Emerald Airlines to evaluate options with respect to an earlier contract start date in light of Stobart Air recently ceasing operations.
The new franchise agreement between will support Aer Lingus’s Dublin hub strategy by providing connectivity for UK regional airports to North America via Dublin.
The agreement will offer quick and convenient connections between the island of Ireland and regional airports in the UK, the Isle of Man and Jersey, with options for network expansion to further airports in the future.
Under the agreement, Emerald Airlines will operate ATR turboprop aircraft on the regional routes in Aer Lingus branding and livery.
The new deal could also mean over 400 new jobs between now and the commencement of services in 2023.
Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus chief executive, said: “Aer Lingus’s strategic intent to develop Dublin Airport as a hub between Europe and the US, to deliver greater connectivity and aviation jobs, is significantly boosted by today’s announcement.
“This franchise agreement with Emerald Airlines marks a new chapter in Aer Lingus Regional services and brings choice and certainty to our customers flying between Ireland, the UK and beyond.
“We very much look forward to partnering with Emerald Airlines, and to growing and developing Aer Lingus Regional over the coming years.”
Following the unexpected closure of Stobart Air in June, Aer Lingus worked quickly to plan a replacement schedule for Aer Lingus Regional customers, operating six routes until at least the end of March next year.