Aer Arann has today confirmed a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in 2012, with total passenger growth of 16% in the past two years.
Announcing a ‘new beginning’ at the airline, interim chief executive Sean Brogan outlined a package of measures to grow its customer base and route network, including a restructuring of the company, a fleet renewal programme, the extension of Aer Lingus agreement and the addition of two new routes.
The airline will be taking delivery of eight new aircraft. The new aircraft, ATR 72-600s, will replace the older existing fleet of ATR72-200s and ATR42s.
The first new plane will commence service this May, with the remaining aircraft expected for delivery over the next 11 months.
The new fleet will be fully operational in time for the Summer 2014 programme.
The airline has extended its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, which will see Aer Arann operate under the Aer Lingus Regional brand until the end of 2022.
Commencing this Summer, Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, will add two new routes to its network, Dublin to Birmingham and Dublin to Manchester.
Services on the Dublin Birmingham route will go from three to six services per day while services on the Dublin Manchester routes will go from three to five per day.
The airline is also to increase frequencies on its Dublin to Edinburgh and Dublin to Glasgow routes.
Services on the Dublin to Edinburgh route will go from four up to six services per day while services on the Dublin to Glasgow route will go from four up to six per day.
"Just over two years ago, we stared closure in the face," said Mr Brogan.
"Now, we have the fundamentals in place to join Europe’s top tier of regional airlines.
"The completion of our restructuring programme represents a new beginning for the airline. Our extended franchise agreement with Aer Lingus to 2022 gives us a firm foundation for growth, and the fleet renewal programme allows us to enhance the passenger offering further."
"We have come a long way in a short time, but much remains to be done. We will only continue to push forward positively if we maximise the opportunities that have been secured."