The former Aer Arran has agreed a new partnership with Europe’s largest regional airline Flybe which will see it operate six new routes from London Southend Airport from June.
Stobart Air, which rebranded from Aer Arran last week, is expected to carry 100,000 passengers on the new routes in 2014 under the five-year deal, rising to 200,000 next year.
As part of the deal, Stobart Air will base two 72 seat aircraft at London Southend Airport, where it is to create 50 new jobs. London Southend is owned by the airline’s majority shareholder, the UK transport group Stobart.
Aer Arran formally changed its name to Stobart Air on Thursday last. This came three years after the transport group, which is the airline’s majority shareholder agreed to invest €2.5 million to rescue the business from collapse. The rebranding only applies to the company behind Aer Lingus Regional, with the airline recently extending its link with Irish carrier to 2022.
The airline currently operates 550 flights a week across 27 routes connecting Ireland, Britain and France.
Total passenger numbers at the airline are expected to reach 1.4 million this year, a 55 per cent rise in the four years since the airline commenced franchised operations with a partnership with Aer Lingus to operate services .
“We are pleased to have concluded an agreement with Flybe, the leading regional airline in Europe. Each of the six new routes are strong locations, keen to secure a London connection. London Southend Airport, with its convenience and quick access to London, will resonate with business and leisure passengers, as will our competitive fares,” said interim chief executive Sean Brogan.