Aer Lingus Regional, a service operated by Irish regional airline, Aer Arann, under a franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, an Ireland-based airline, is set to withdraw its base at Waterford Airport in Ireland, from 2013.
The airline will be terminating its routes from Waterford Airport to Manchester, London Luton and London Southend airports in England, from New Year 2013.
The airline chief executive officer, Graham Doyle, said, ‘We have been aware of Aer Arann’s difficulties since before their examinership in 2010 and continued to work with them through these challenges. Regrettably, however, the airline has limited its capacity on the Waterford routes. This has been due to issues elsewhere in their business rather than the market in the Southeast region with a population of almost 500,000.
This has seen services reduced on the consistently high-performing London Luton route in favour of Southend Airport, whose owners are now also Aer Arann’s largest shareholder. The Southend route performed poorly by comparison so that even a major marketing push by Waterford Airport and our partners could not fully mitigate this switch.
It is clearly a blow to have key UK routes withdrawn in these particular circumstances and is especially disappointing given that the Aer Lingus Regional brand was only introduced at Waterford as recently as late March of this year – just over seven months ago.
We were delighted to be working with the Aer Lingus brand but our understanding is that the decision arises from the sale of an aircraft by Aer Arann that necessitates them further cutting their route network.’