The west of Ireland is to be served from Bristol airport with the start of a new route next spring.

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, is to operate daily flights to Shannon using an ATR-42 from April 3.

The new service will operate alongside the airline’s existing Dublin route, which links Bristol with the Irish capital up to three times a day.

Lead in fares start at £29.99 each way including taxes and charges.

Aer Lingus Regional confirmed that the introduction of the new route was directly related to the Irish government’s recent decision to abolish its air travel tax from April.

Chief commercial officer Simon Fagan said: “Bristol is one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, and its proximity to Bath, Cardiff, Newport and Gloucester makes it an ideal destination for travelling rugby fans.

“We expect to carry 25,000 passengers on the Bristol route in the first year of operation.”

Bristol airport aviation director Shaun Browne added: “The Bristol-Shannon route has proved popular with passengers when operated in the past.

“Now, with economic conditions improving in both countries, we are confident the demand is there for it to be a success again, making business and leisure travel between southwest England and southwest Ireland more convenient.”