Irish regional airline Stobart Air has ceased operations with immediate effect, after failing to secure funding from a new investor.
The company operated many regional flights on behalf of IAG-owned Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus. Due to this franchise partnership, some Aer Lingus flights have now been cancelled on short notice as they were served by Stobart Air.
On Saturday, Aer Lingus stated: “Late on the evening of 11th June, Stobart Air notified Aer Lingus that it was terminating its Franchise Agreement with Aer Lingus with immediate effect.” The airline also confirmed the cancellation of all services that were operated by its regional partner. “Stobart Air referred to the continuing impact of the pandemic which has resulted in almost no flying since March 2020. Stobart Air has ceased trading and is now in the process of appointing a liquidator“, Aer Lingus continues. The IAG subsidiary says it is ‘communicating’ with customers regarding their options to change flights or receive a refund.
Stobart Air was operating a fleet of twelve ATR 72 and one ATR 42 aircraft. In 2020, the airline had already retired three ATR 72 amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The company employed about 480 people. It primarily offered flights within Ireland and between Ireland and the United Kingdom.
On Friday, one day before the Stobart Air shutdown, small Belgian regional airline Air Antwerp confirmed that it is ceasing operations.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.