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Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines to start regional services from March 17

Emerald Airlines will commence regional flights between the UK and Ireland from March 17 under a franchise agreement with Aer Lingus.

The services will operate as Aer Lingus Regional under “accelerated plans” between the two airlines. Flights are on sale now.

Emerald Airlines will fly more than 340 flights per week across 11 routes, with “further route announcements due in the coming weeks”.

Regional airports to be served from Ireland exclusively under the agreement include Newquay, Exeter and the Isle of Man, with connections offered via Aer Lingus to US destinations including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle.

Other UK airports on the network include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds. Emerald has also applied for a licence to operate from Belfast.

Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus chief executive, said: “Today is about opportunities. Opportunities for our UK customers to connect with ease to Aer Lingus flights to North America and to take advantage of the US preclearance facility.

“Opportunities for customers across UK and Ireland as we develop the Aer Lingus regional network. And opportunities for the Irish economy and Irish aviation as we expand our hub at Dublin.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Emerald Airlines to accelerate this partnership and start operations 10 months ahead of the original schedule.

“We are all looking forward to welcoming our customers on-board Aer Lingus Regional services, operated by Emerald Airlines.”

Conor McCarthy, Emerald Airlines chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to be able to commence operations under our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus well ahead of plan in line with the recovering customer demand.

“The time is right for Emerald Airlines to begin operations under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, and we truly look forward to welcoming our customers onboard our flights.”

He added: “Emerald has also established an airline company in Northern Ireland (Emerald Airlines UK Ltd) and has applied to the UK CAA for a UK AOC and Operating Licence.

“We are very confident that this will result in long-term connectivity being maintained across the Irish Sea and will boost business and leisure travel between Northern Ireland and Britain.

“We have already reached a long-term commercial agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport and look forward to connecting Belfast to many cities in the UK as soon as possible in 2022.

“Further details, routes and launch dates in relation to the Belfast operation will be announced in the New Year.”

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