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All of Aer Lingus’ regional flights operated by Stobart Air have been cancelled with immediate effect.

A franchise agreement between Stobart Air and Aer Lingus has been terminated. Stobart Air have now ceased operations and appointed a liquidator.

In a statement, Stobart Air said the decision to cease operations and appoint a liquidator was “unavoidable and difficult” and that all 480 of its staff have been informed of the decision.

It also apologised to its customers for the inconvenience that the cancellation of flights at short notice would cause. The airline, which is owned by UK-based Esken group, said in April that a new owner had been identified – Isle of Man-based start-up Ettyl. “However, it has emerged that the funding to support this transaction is no longer in place and the new owner is now unable to conclude the transaction”.

Services from Dublin to Kerry, Donegal, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newquay are cancelled. Routes from Belfast to Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Exeter and East Midlands are also affected.

The Clare Echo reported in April of this year that flights operated by Stobart Air from Shannon Airport to Birmingham and Edinburgh were to be dropped.

No Aer Lingus services have flown out of Shannon Airport since March 2020. Last month, Aer Lingus announced it was to close its cabin crew base at Shannon Airport.

Former Junior Minister and ex Clare TD, Pat Breen (FG) said that Stobart Air ceasing trading was a major blow for the connectivity and cross channel short flights from regional airports. He believed the announcement was “particularly devastating for Shannon Airport’s future. Government must protect this strategic connectivity”.

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