Aer Lingus Regional — the airline’s secondary destination service — posted a fourth consecutive month of passenger growth at Cork Airport in July.
The operator of the service, Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann) said yesterday that numbers through Cork — from where it operates seven routes, recently adding Newcastle — were up by 14% year-on-year last month; while they also rose by 50% in Shannon.
Some 28,385 people travelled through Cork Airport on an Aer Lingus Regional flight last month; with the number doing likewise at Shannon reaching 16,564.
Overall, July represented a 13th consecutive month of passenger growth for the airline — with a fresh, record passenger haul of 141,737 people carried.
“Since the start of the year, the airline has flown 762,000 passengers; 150,000 more than this time last year,” according to Stobart Air’s chief commercial officer, Simon Fagan.
“Passengers are responding to our strong route network, our investment in new aircraft and the connectivity we offer with mainline Aer Lingus services,” he said.
He also noted the positive effect UK-based sporting events had on the airline’s July traffic figures — with a 21% jump seen in passengers to Manchester for golf’s British Open and a 34% increase in Glasgow-bound travellers, due to the Commonwealth Games and the introduction of a new larger-sized aircraft on that route.
The latest figures from Stobart Air also show a 35% annualised jump last month in UK residents using the Aer Lingus Regional service to connect to Ireland en-route to the US, as an easier means of dealing with customs and immigration red tape. Strong year-on-year jumps in routes linking Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and Birmingham were all seen in this regard last month.
Stobart, which recently agreed a five-year/six route deal to operate flights on behalf of Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, signed a 10-year franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, for its regional services to smaller Irish and UK airports, in 2012.
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