30th April: 2010: Aer Arann regrets to announce that a plan to operate a new route to City of Derry Airport from Edinburgh has been suspended.
The new route was announced on March 1st and both the airport authorities and the airline expected it to perform well. Unfortunately, despite the perceived interest, bookings for the route have been very poor and the decision had to be taken to suspend the services.
All intending passengers who have booked on the routes will be contacted proactively by Aer Arann and they will receive full refunds.
The route was to begin on May 20th with 6 flights per week between City of Derry and Edinburgh. However forward bookings over the summer proved to be very weak, with flights over the first weeks of the service booked only to single digit load factors.
In making this announcement the airline pointed out that while current trends are for advance bookings to be low, with passengers increasingly booking flights closer to the departure date, the booking profile on the proposed new route was particularly weak even with fares as low as £36 one way including taxes.
“We sincerely regret suspending the route at this point but we must act in the overall interests of all of our customers and the airline”, said Aer Arann Corporate Affairs Director Andrew Kelly.
“We looked at this route and we felt there was an opportunity based on reported demand, but that demand has not materialized and so we have made the decision not to start routes that show no signs of being anything but loss making. While unfortunate and regrettable it is the wisest decision to make in the long term interest of our customers and the financial performance of the airline”, he continued.
Aer Arann is happy to consider re-opening the route and other possible routes from Manchester in the future, perhaps when there is more recovery in the economy and when they can be deemed commercially viable.
Aer Arann services to Galway from Edinburgh continue to perform strongly and routes from Edinburgh to Dublin and Cork with Aer Lingus Regional, which began operating on March 28th are also performing well.
Aer Arann and Aer Lingus Regional customers in Edinburgh will continue to enjoy the same competitive fares and great value offered on these services.