Aer Lingus Regional operator Stobart Air has collapsed, cancelling all flying and grounding its fleet.
The airline operated a fleet of ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft mostly in Aer Lingus livery with bases at Cork, Dublin and Belfast City. It operated regional feeder services on behalf of the Irish national airline, flying mostly to UK regional airports.
The airline has been in existence since 1970, rising to operate over 900 flights per week. But since the onset of the Covid pandemic has been struggling to maintain solvency and ultimately collapsed on 12 June.
“Given the continued impact of the pandemic which has virtually halted air travel since March 2020 and in the absence of any alternative purchasers or sources of funding, the board of Stobart Air must take the necessary, unavoidable and difficult decision to seek to appoint a liquidator,” the company said.
Its owner, Ettyl, also owns Carlisle Lake District Airport, but would retain this even though it has no airline flights operating at present.
Over the coming week, the airline’s services will be mostly covered by Aer Lingus and BA CityFlyer. However, in the long term the future of these services is not certain. Most of the Stobar Air fleet is currently parked at Belfast City and Dublin.