Aer Arann, of the Republic of Ireland, has announced it intends to grow and become one of Europe’s top regional airlines.
It will extend its agreement to operate Aer Lingus Regional flights to 2022, following a growth in passenger numbers on the flights of 16% over the past two years.
For these flights, its aircraft wear Aer Lingus colours and operate links mainly from Dublin to the UK. Two new services will be added to the franchise, from Dublin to both Birmingham and Manchester. Frequencies will also increase on routes to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Eight new ATR 72-600 aircraft are expected to be delivered between May and Summer 2014, replacing older ATR 72-200s operated by the airline.
Aer Arann has undergone significant restructuring since it got close to financial bankruptcy. It has closed a number of routes, and sees this expansion of services with Aer Lingus to signify a brighter future for the airline.
Interim CEO of Aer Arann, Steve Brogan, says: “Our extended franchise agreement with Aer Lingus to 2022 gives us a firm foundation for growth, and the fleet renewal programme allows us to enhance the passenger offering further.”