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Stobart Air Flights

Aer Arann, styled as Aer Arann Regional, was a regional airline that is based in Dublin, Ireland. It is not to be confused with the separate Irish airline, Aer Arann Islands. To clear the distinction, Aer Arann operates under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, which will be rebranded as Stobart Air by end of 2014, and Aer Arann Islands should be treated as a separate entity from its former parent, Aer Arann. In addition, Aer Arann Islands will continue to operate as a separate airline that provides an island-hopping air service between Galway and the Arann Islands, just off the west coast of Ireland, while Aer Arann will cease to operate for some time in lieu of its rebranding.

Established in 1970 by James Coen and Ralph Langan, Aer Arran used to be a regional airline that operates scheduled services on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional, which has three bases in Cork, Dublin, and Shannon. It used to operate scheduled passenger services primary from Ireland to UK, France, and the Channel Islands.

The turning point for the airline commenced in 1994 when Pádraig Ó Céidigh purchased the airline, the same year it registered double passenger traffic growth, as well as the first European airline to obtain the ISO 9000 Quality Award. In 2001, it branched out and established a new airline, the Aer Arann Islands, a separate company that provides island-hopping air service between Galway and Aran Islands. The next turning point for the airline came in 2006 when Aer Arann’s excellence in customer service was formally recognised in 2006 when it received the Palme D’Or European regional airline award for sustained excellence.

In 2008, the airline announced that it would implement a cost-saving programme, having had to deal with the economic downturn. In January 2010, Aer Arann and Aer Lingus founded Aer Lingus Regional, which removed Aer Arann’s hubs at Cork and Dublin. As early as October 2010, Stobart Group expressed interest in buying the airline, and would serve the London Southend Airport from March 2011 to destinations in Ireland and possibly France. The following month, the deal was sealed and the shares are split accordingly: Pádraig Ó Céidigh owning 67.5%, Aer Arann’s Chairman owning 27.5%, and Stobart Group, which then owns a meagre share of 5%.

In March 2012, Aer Arann announced that it will transfer its services to Aer Lingus Regional, streamlining services to a single brand and ceasing flights from London City to Isle of Man. On December 2012, Stobart Group increased its shares to 32.5%, and with the reconstruction of the company the next year, gaining an option to fully acquire the airline. Finally on March 2014, Aer Arann announced that it would change its corporate name to Stobart Air.

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