Government aim to 'restore connectivity' to regional airports after Stobart cease trading

ireland
Government Aim To 'Restore Connectivity' To Regional Airports After Stobart Cease Trading
Stobart Air has ceased trading, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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James Cox

UPDATED: 3.50pm 12/06/2021 

Aer Lingus has been forced to cancel a number of its regional flights after Stobart Air, which operated the routes, ceased trading.

The Department of Transport is currently examining the implications of the announcement and the cancellation of the Government-funded PSO routes which operate between Kerry and Dublin and Donegal and Dublin.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said: “The announcement this morning is concerning news for the affected workers and for regional connectivity. We will be engaging with all stakeholders today and over the comings days to restore connectivity to the regional airports affected by today’s announcement.”

Stobart Air announced late on Friday that it is in the process of appointing a liquidator.

In a statement, Aer Lingus said Stobart Air had terminated its franchise agreement with the airline late on Friday.

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“As a result, all Aer Lingus Regional flights operated by Stobart Air are cancelled,” the statement said.

Refund

“Customers who were booked to travel on flights operated by Stobart Air are advised not come to the airport and to check the Aer Lingus website for updated information on refund or re-booking options,” Aer Lingus said.

All Stobart Air flights on the following routes are cancelled: Dublin/Kerry; Dublin/Donegal; Dublin/Glasgow; Dublin/Edinburgh; Dublin/Manchester; Dublin/Newquay; Belfast City/Manchester; Belfast City/Birmingham; Belfast City/Edinburgh; Belfast City/Leeds Bradford, Belfast City/Exeter; Belfast City/East Midlands.

Pandemic

Aer Lingus added: “Stobart Air referred to the continuing impact of the pandemic which has resulted in almost no flying since March 2020.

“Stobart Air has ceased trading and is now in the process of appointing a liquidator.

“Aer Lingus apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation at such short notice of all flights operated by Stobart Air. Aer Lingus is now communicating to customers to advise them of their options for refund or re-booking.”

Stobart Air confirmed the news “with great sadness”, adding that all 480 staff at the airline have been informed.

'Regret and sadness'

A statement read: “It is with great regret and sadness that Stobart Air can confirm that the Board is in the process of appointing a liquidator to the business and the airline is to cease operations with immediate effect.

“This unavoidable and difficult decision means that all Aer Lingus Regional routes, currently operated by Stobart Air under its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, have been cancelled.

“Stobart Air operated 12 routes from Dublin Airport and Belfast Airport and all passengers booked on the following Aer Lingus Regional routes are advised to check the Aer Lingus website for up to date information on refund or rebooking options:

  • Belfast Airport to: Edinburgh; Exeter; East Midlands; Leeds; Birmingham and Manchester.
  • Dublin Airport to: Kerry; Donegal; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Manchester and Newquay.

“Stobart Air apologises to all its customers for the inconvenience caused at short notice.”

The airline said it had identified a new owner last April, however, funding for the takeover fell through.

The impact of the pandemic was cited as the main reason for the airline's "unavoidable and difficult" decision to cease trading.

 

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