The pilots of Irish regional carrier Aer Arann voted last month by a 91-percent margin to initiate a pair of two-day strikes starting August 20. Plans called for the strikes to affect Aer Arann-coded flights and regional flights it operates on behalf of Aer Lingus.
Low-cost carrier Ryanair has said it will appeal the UK Competition Commission’s August 28 ruling that it must reduce its holding in Ireland’s Aer Lingus from 29.8 percent to 5 percent.
Aer Lingus Regional franchisee Aer Arann last month took delivery of the first of eight new ATR 72-600 turboprops it has ordered as part of a contract worth some $187 million. ATR has promised to deliver the final seven airplanes over the next 11 months, as Aer Arann removes from service its aging ATR 72-200s and 42-300s. The airline plans to keep its three ATR 72-500s.
Two years after entering bankruptcy protection, restructured Irish regional operator Aer Arann has embarked on a fleet-replacement program. Last month it neared a resolution to negotiations to acquire eight ATR 72-600s, reflecting expectations for rejuvenation of a business that has fought valiantly to escape the ravages of the Irish economic collapse.
Business aircraft passengers and crew will be able to clear all U.S. customs, immigration and agriculture procedures at Ireland’s Shannon Airport starting on March 1, following the long-anticipated approval granted yesterday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The arrangements allow non-U.S. operators and their passengers to fly direct from Shannon to any airport in the U.S. as if they were making a domestic flight.
FBO Ireland started business jet handling at Dublin Airport last month, operating out of the main terminal. The Shannon-based group is now negotiating to open a new executive facility at Dublin. Next month, FBO Ireland is scheduled to start business aircraft handling at Ireland’s Cork Airport.
Aer Arann performs its own line maintenance, with base checks contracted to TAT at Dinard in northern France, said COO Peter McKenna. Components go to sister company Aer Arann Islands in Connemara. The airline employs 25 maintenance staff, and generally adds two or three people with each additional aircraft.
Irish regional airline Aer Arann underscored its willingness to challenge air transport convention over the summer when it opened the first direct air link between Belfast and Dublin in eight years. But a little more than two months later, economic pragmatism trumped any political or symbolic value the new route might have carried, when CEO Padraig O’Ceidigh ended the experiment almost as abruptly as it began.
ExxonMobil Aviation is no longer providing fuel services on the Bravo ramp at Ireland’s Dublin Airport. After performing a risk assessment of the ramp’s lighting conditions, ExxonMobil determined that it would be safer to fuel general aviation aircraft on the airport’s main commercial ramp at night.
Ireland’s Aer Arann has agreed to take delivery of 10 new 72-seat ATR 72-500s from the Franco-Italian turboprop builder over the next three years. Announced last month in Dublin in the presence of Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, the $180 million deal represents the single largest aircraft investment by a private Irish passenger airline and ranks as the third largest in Ireland’s history.
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