Aviation start-up Aer Southeast has announced it will be offering regular fights to London Luton, Manchester and Birmingham from July 24.
The new company, with registered offices at Waterford Airport, is said to be made up of executives and staff with “very considerable experience in regional aviation,” with financial backing from Irish and Scandinavian investors.
It is hoped that the development will provide some stability to the regional airport just outside Waterford City, which has had a chequered few years because of the withdrawal of a succession of airlines from its schedule.
The inaugural service by Aer Southeast will take place to London Luton at 7.15am on July 24, and bookings for London Luton are already open at www.flywaterford.com and www.aersoutheast.com.
The airline will fly to London Luton six times a week (return) and to Manchester and Birmingham three times a week. The service will use a Saab 340 aircraft based at Waterford Airport.
Bookings for Manchester and Birmingham on the Aer Southeast website will be available in the coming days and this will be announced through the airport’s website and social media accounts. Ticket prices to all destinations will start from €79 one-way.
Welcoming the announcement, Waterford Airport chief executive Desmond O’Flynn said scheduled air services to the UK have proved their worth and their “vital importance” to the South-East over many years.
“We have had detailed discussions with a number of parties since the loss of scheduled services in June last year, but we were very impressed with the aviation experience of the consortium and their commitment to this project,” he said.
Aer Arann pulled out of the Waterford-UK routes in 2012 and Flybe stopped using the airport in 2014.
Belgian-owned carrier VLM stepped in the following year but only lasted a year before ceasing operations last summer.
In the medium-term, Waterford Airport hopes to secure funding for an extension to the runway which would allow airlines use larger aircraft.