There has been a 7% increase in passengers flying the Dublin to Donegal route in the past six months versus the same period last year.
The Aer Lingus Regional route is operated by Stobart Air.
Stobart Air has invested €14m in its fleet since the renewal of its PSO routes
Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air.
The airline today announced a 10% increase in passengers flying the Dublin—Kerry and Dublin—Donegal Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes in the past six months since the PSO renewal on 1 February versus the same period last year.
Reviewing passenger figures today, the airline reports that 23% of passengers on the Donegal Dublin route take a day trip, while one quarter of passengers are travelling for business.
Anne Bonner, Managing Director Donegal Airport said they are delighted with the passenger growth on the Donegal – Dublin route and with the feedback on the service.
She said “The introduction of a new ATR600 aircraft by Stobart Air on this route has increased customer satisfaction and the overall on-time performance. The Aer Lingus Regional branding is also a major factor with many passengers making onward connections.
“It has enabled substantial investment in joint marketing campaigns by the airport and the airline with the tourism and business development agencies which is now delivering and projecting further growth into the future’ she added ‘We hope to expand Donegal’s access on the Aer Lingus network to additional European and UK destinations and are actively working with the carrier to enable the links’
The recently renewed contract will see Stobart Air operate the PSO services until 31 January 2022.
Since 1 February the airline has increased passenger numbers on both routes, carrying an additional 12% passengers on the Dublin—Kerry route and an additional 7% on the Dublin—Donegal versus the same period in 2017. In total, the airline has carried over 48,000 passengers on the routes in the first six months since the contract was renewed.
The routes also allow seamless connectivity for passengers travelling from Kerry and Donegal to North America on Aer Lingus mainline services, via Dublin Airport.
In 2017, more than 84,000 passengers flew to Kerry and Donegal. This number is expected to grow significantly over the duration of the contract to a combined total approaching 100,000 passengers a year.
Since the renewal of the PSO routes, Stobart Air has invested €14m in its fleet, with the Kerry route utilising a larger ATR72-600 aircraft providing 50% additional capacity, while the Donegal route has benefited from a new aircraft.
Commenting today, Graeme Buchanan, Managing Director of Stobart Air, said: “We are delighted with the increased success of the PSO routes in the first six months since our contract renewal. The investment in the fleet has added to the increased numbers, giving passengers additional comfort and service on these routes.
“Linking rural regions to the capital means more opportunities for work, business and leisure. It’s also hugely important for the tourism industry, connecting people, via Dublin Airport, easily and conveniently to the Wild Atlantic Way.
“We’re confident these routes will grow and develop further, and we look forward to continuing to work with Kerry and Donegal Airports over the next few years to build on this success.”