The eight new planes will replace Aer Arann’s fleet of eight ATR 72s and is part of the airline’s ‘new beginning’ strategy, which aims to position Aer Arann among Europe’s top tier of regional airlines.
Interim chief executive Sean Brogan said that the investment in new aircraft with ATR will support the company’s ambitious growth plans.
“Aer Arann will welcome the arrival of the first of eight new ATR planes this week. This investment is part of a new beginning at the airline which includes a suite of measures to grow the company.
“The arrival of these new planes will enable Aer Arann to further expand our regional offering and to support the addition of new routes and frequencies on existing routes.
“We already have plans in place to increase frequencies on our Dublin/Edinburgh and Dublin/Glasgow routes,” he said.
The new aircraft can be configured to carry up to 74 people. It is hoped they will contribute to doubling the airline’s passengers numbers to more than two million over the next five years. The company has seen a 32% rise in passengers in the past year.
Aer Arann has secured the franchise to operate Aer Lingus Regional until 2022 and as part of this deal will operate 500 flights per week across 23 routes in Ireland, the UK and France. Mr Brogan said the airline was unveiling two new routes this summer that will be served by the new planes.
“As part of our summer schedule we added two new routes — Manchester and Birmingham — to our network. The addition of these routes, two of the busiest in the UK and Ireland, is set to increase our passenger numbers further by over 300,000 and bring the airline’s route network to 25. The arrival of our new planes will support this growth,” he said.
ATR chief executive Filippo Bagnato said they are delighted to partner with airlines like Aer Arann.
“ATR is honoured to support the growth of Aer Arann and Aer Lingus Regional. We are happy to partner with such prestigious operators.
“We are also glad to develop the presence of the new ATR-600s in Europe, a market where we expect to get a strong demand for new generation ATR turboprops due mainly to the increasing operating costs for airlines and the fact there are many airline fleets due for renewal soon,” he said.