Emerald Airlines (Ireland) (EA, Dublin International) has confirmed it will begin feeder franchise operations under the Aer Lingus Regional brand on March 17, 2022, rather than wait until 2023 as previously planned.

"We're delighted to be able to commence operations under our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus well ahead of plan in line with the recovering customer demand. This announcement is a great boost for connectivity from Ireland to the UK, including cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow International, the Isle of Man, Newcastle, GB, Bristol International, and Leeds/Bradford. Emerald Airlines will be offering a high-frequency schedule with convenient flight timings to facilitate both business and leisure passengers," Chief Executive Conor McCarthy said.

Emerald Airlines will operate over 340 weekly flights on 11 routes, although not all will launch on March 17. The carrier's schedule covers services from Dublin International to:

  • Glasgow (up to 4x daily from March 17),
  • Isle of Man (6x weekly from March 17),
  • Birmingham, GB (up to 3x daily from March 27),
  • Bristol (up to 3x daily from March 27),
  • Edinburgh (up to 4x daily from March 27),
  • Manchester International (up to 3x daily from March 27),
  • Leeds/Bradford (up to 2x daily from April 15),
  • Newcastle (5x weekly from April 15),
  • Exeter (5x weekly from April 29),
  • Newquay (4x weekly from April 29), and
  • Jersey (weekly from May 28).

All flights will be operated with ATR72-600s. It currently has two such aircraft but plans to add another four shortly, the ch-aviation fleets module shows.

The carriers entered into a ten-year partnership in August 2021. The franchise, which Emerald Airlines took over from Stobart Air (which ceased operations in June 2021), was originally due to begin on January 1, 2023.

Emerald Airlines is completing its certification and licensing in the United Kingdom through its Emerald Airlines (United Kingdom) subsidiary. A UK permit is necessary for its proposed services connecting Belfast City with destinations in Great Britain.

"We are very confident that this will result in long-term connectivity being maintained across the Irish Sea and will boost business and leisure travel between Northern Ireland and Britain. We have already reached a long-term commercial agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport and look forward to connecting Belfast to many cities in the UK as soon as possible in 2022," McCarthy said.