Coinciding with the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines have celebrated one year of their franchise partnership.
The inaugural international flight under the new Aer Lingus Regional franchise from Dublin to Isle of Man, was flown just 12 months ago.
1 million passengers in the past year
Looking at the first year of partnership in retrospect, Aer Lingus Regional services, exclusively operated by Emerald Airlines, have carried over 1 million passengers. The carrier operated more than 22,000 flights over the past 12 months.
By peak summer this year, Emerald Airlines will be flying to 800 flights per week, across 30 routes serving 20 destinations in Ireland, UK, Channel Islands and France.
This includes new flights connecting Cork to Bristol, Belfast to Isle of Man as well as increased flights from Dublin to 14 airports across UK, including a newly announced year-round service from Dublin to Liverpool and a summer service to Brest, Brittany (France).
The airline is progressively bolstering its 2023 schedule, with over 2.5 million seats on sale this year.
The significance of the partnership
The Emerald partnership is hugely significant for the Irish flag carrier, not just in terms of the direct regional services it provides, particularly to smaller key UK markets, but also due to the number of Aer Lingus Regional passengers who connect onwards to Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services.
Currently Aer Lingus Regional feeds one in eight transatlantic passengers to Aer Lingus, supporting Dublin as the natural gateway to the U.S.
Aer Lingus Regional customers transferring onward to North America can also avail of US Immigration and pre-clearance at Dublin Airport, which means the chance to skip lengthy immigration queues stateside.
The first Aer Lingus Regional domestic flight from Dublin to Donegal took off as part of the franchise partnership, 10 months in advance of the original start date which was planned to be January of this year.
The acceleration of the start date fell in line with the post pandemic uplift in demand for travel.
Aer Lingus comments
Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus said: “Emerald Airlines is a key partner for Aer Lingus, as we continue to rebuild and grow our transatlantic network. The first year of our partnership with Emerald has been very positive.
“Through Emerald Airlines, the Aer Lingus Regional brand is able to serve important smaller UK regional markets.” All
“Our close working relationship with the Emerald Airlines team means they have a deep understanding of our brand and strategy to continue growing Dublin Airport as a hub.”
Emerald airlines fleet expansion
Conor McCarthy, Executive Chairman of Emerald Airlines said:
“What a year it has been! Starting our journey in the skies over 12 months ago, we have now welcomed over 400 staff across both our Dublin and Belfast bases and will soon be operating 30 routes across 19 destinations in Ireland, UK, Channel Islands, and Northern France.”
Emerald Airlines is continuing with the expansion of its fleet this year, with the addition of three new ATR72-600 by the end of quarter one of 2023.
The ATR72-600, the latest generation of turboprop aircraft combining environmental and economic performance, has a significant environmental advantage over regional jets and other turboprop aircraft emitting up to 40% less CO2 on short, regional flights.