Aer Lingus Regional announces new service to Belfast city from Birmingham

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, has announced the launch of its new route from Birmingham to Belfast.

Starting September 14, the airline will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport. Flights from Birmingham to Belfast start from £29.99 one way including taxes and are on sale now at Stobart Air will also now base five ATR72-600 aircraft at Belfast City Airport.

Aer Lingus Regional currently operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that Stobart Air has given customers the chance to fly to Belfast City Airport again direct from Birmingham Airport. This much needed domestic route comes under the Common Travel Area, ensuring customers can move easily and freely between England and Northern Ireland. The convenience of this route will appeal to both business and leisure customers needing direct access to the Emerald Isle.’

Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said: ‘We are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City Airport and to work closely with Birmingham Airport, Belfast City Airport and our partners Aer Lingus to operate flights to and from Birmingham.

‘Stobart Air has worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline during challenging times and to position us for the future. The launch of this service is part of that.

‘This new Aer Lingus Regional route will facilitate key links and connectivity between these cities and ensure we provide choice, value and convenience for our customers. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this Birmingham-Belfast route from today.’

In accordance with the guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stobart Air has implemented enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers from the risks of Covid 19.

Stobart Group pulls out of Flybe purchase

Guernsey-headquartered infrastructure and support service company, Stobart Group, has withdrawn its interest in purchasing Flybe, the UK-based regional air carrier.

Stobart, which owns UK airports London Southend and Carlisle Lake District, reportedly made the decision to withdraw its interest after its bid was rejected. It stated on Thursday that it was, ‘unable to reach an agreement on satisfactory terms’ with the airline’s owners.

The news caused an initial fall of 24.8 percent in Flybe’s share value, but it recovered slightly later in the day. News of Stobart Group’s interest a month ago had sent the airline’s share price up by around 30 percent.

The purchase was seen by industry experts and Flybe’s investors alike as a lifeline for a business that has cut more than a thousand jobs in recent years and closed sites that it considered to be unprofitable.

During difficult financial times for the airline last year, it blamed the problems on an overcrowded European market and maintenance costs that were higher than expected.

In its Thursday announcement, Stobart added that, ‘it is not in its shareholders’ best interests to increase its latest proposal for Flybe above the level which was rejected by the board of Flybe.’ It confirmed however that it intends to keep working with the Airline with regards to its ‘shared interests’ and growing franchise agreements.

In response to Stobart’s withdrawal, Flybe announced that its board ‘remains highly confident in the prospects of Flybe and believes that the group continues to have an exciting future as an independent company.’