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Tuesday, 14th December 2010: Aer Arann and Aer Lingus have announced that the next phase of their franchise agreement will see the addition of a sixth ATR 72 aircraft to the Aer Lingus Regional fleet from next March.

The aircraft will be used to launch two new routes between Dublin and both Bristol and Aberdeen with onward connections from Dublin to Aer Lingus trans-Atlantic services.

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, will fly 3 return flights 6 days each week and two returns flights on Saturdays between Dublin and Bristol offering new morning, afternoon and evening frequency options for business customers. The 20 weekly return flights between the UK South West’s largest city and Dublin will also boost leisure and tourist travel to the capital.

Dublin flights will connect Aer Lingus New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando services to and from Bristol which currently has no direct services to the United States.

Aer Lingus Regional already operates from both Cork and Shannon to Bristol and the new Dublin route revives the first ever Aer Lingus route in the airline’s 75th birthday year.

The Dublin Aberdeen service will operate every day except Saturday and the new link will promote business ties with Scotland’s prosperous oil region as well as promoting leisure and tourist travel.   

With no trans-Atlantic services available from Aberdeen the new connection through Dublin to Aer Lingus New York flights and onwards throughout the United States will be a major advantage for business and leisure passengers.

As well as the convenience of flying from their home airport connecting passengers from both Bristol and Aberdeen will also benefit from the new US Customs and Immigrations clearance facilities in Dublin that will allow them to arrive in the US as domestic passengers.

Commenting on today’s announcement Aer Arann Chief Executive Paul Schütz said “the additional aircraft and routes demonstrate the confidence of Aer Arann and Aer Lingus in the franchise flying model that matches capacity and frequency requirements to demand”. 

“These new routes will extend the successful cooperation between our two airlines and will benefit both business and tourism by stimulating the point to point market with excellent business timings and leisure options and by providing through booking connections to the United States from the UK regions”, Mr. Schütz concluded.

Welcoming the announcement the Chief Commercial Officer of Aer Lingus Stephen Kavanagh said “Aer Lingus is delighted to be extending our network into Aberdeen and Bristol. These new route launches mark an expansion of the partnership between Aer Lingus and Aer Arann and we look forward to welcoming customers on board in 2011.”

The addition of Bristol and Aberdeen increases the total number of Aer Lingus Regional routes operated by Aer Arann to 15 with passenger numbers expected to grow to 750,000 in 2011.

Flights on both routes will be operated by Aer Arann ATR 72 aircraft and crew with the first flights on March 27th 2011. Flights between Dublin and both UK cities are on sale from today on aerlingus.com. Connecting flights from Bristol and Aberdeen to the United States are also on sale through travel agents from today and will be available from January 6th 2011 on aerlingus.com.

Read more http://aerarannblog.com/news/aer-arann-and-aer-lingus-announce-new-franchise-routes