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Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, is on track to record its busiest weekend in three years with over 16,000 passengers due to fly on 328 flights across 24 routes this weekend.
The figure represents an 11% increase on the same period last year and the busiest weekend for Aer Arann since its franchise began with Aer Lingus Regional over three years ago.
Today [Friday] is the single busiest day for Aer Lingus Regional since the franchise commenced in March, 2010.
The most popular routes this weekend include Aer Lingus Regional services from London Southend Airport, Manchester and Birmingham – new routes recently announced by Aer Arann.
There are seats still available but some are limited on key Aer Lingus Regional routes to London Southend, Bournemouth, Blackpool and the Isle of Man.
It is anticipated that the high level of air travel this weekend is due to the good weather in Ireland and key events such as the Bray Air show, the Open Championship and the Connacht Senior Football Final taking place in Mayo this weekend.
Aer Lingus Regional has chartered a special flight to bring London GAA home this Saturday to play in their historic final against Mayo in Castlebar.
Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, has experienced strong performance since the airline announced a growth plan earlier this year and this weekend’s record figures come as the Aer Arann continues to implement its growth plan which aims to position the airline among Europe’s top tier of regional carriers.
The growth plan and ‘new beginning’ strategy included the creation of 50 jobs at the airline, the extension of its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, the addition of new routes to Manchester and Birmingham and a €144 million deal for eight new aircraft.
One aircraft has been delivered and is in operation on key Aer Lingus Regional routes while two more are due to arrive in Dublin next week and will support further expansion and new routes over the coming months.
The airline has overseen a 32% rise in overall Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in the past 12 months and this year is on track to carry in excess of 1.2 million passengers.
Aer Arann plans to join Europe’s top tier of regional airlines by 2015 and to double its passenger numbers to over two million in five years, the company said today.
Commenting today, Simon Fagan, Chief Commercial Officer, Aer Arann said that the record numbers due to fly Aer Lingus Regional services this weekend is down to the busy summer period, the addition of new routes and the convenient Aer Lingus Regional schedule for weekend leisure travel.
Equally, Aer Lingus Regional will bring over 1,500 UK-based passenger through Dublin for onward travel to the US with Aer Lingus - Ireland is the only country in Europe to offer passport and customs pre-clearance to US destinations.
‘With the recent addition of new services to Manchester and Birmingham and schedule changes on key routes such as our Dublin to London Southend services, we continue to see strong passenger numbers on our key routes.
‘Our London Southend service is particularly busy this weekend with London GAA flying Aer Lingus Regional home for their historic final against Mayo this weekend.
‘These record numbers are in line with our plan to grow the airline and we look forward to announcing further new routes and increased frequencies on existing routes in the coming weeks,’ Mr Fagan concluded.