Irish national carrier Aer Lingus is to make use of the Embraer 190 fleet of fellow International Airlines Group (IAG) member, British Airways (BA) to support its weekend operations from Dublin Airport. The wet-lease arrangement will help BA’s London City-based CityFlyer operation to boost its utilisation of the regional jet airliners during quieter operational periods and while the Docklands Airport is closed to traffic.
Aer Lingus is understood to be wet-leasing at least one aircraft for mainly Saturday operations from Dublin between the end of May and early September this year. The aircraft will operate weekly flights from Dublin to Bilbao (from June 18, 2016 to September 3, 2016), Bordeaux (June 18, 2016), Lyon (May 28, 2016 to June 11, 2016), Nice (May 28, 2016 to September 3, 2016), Perpignan (May 28, 2016 to September 3, 2016) and Santiago de Compostela (May 29, 2016 to September 4, 2016), our Airline Route blog has revealed.
BA has previously used its CityFlyer E190s to offer mainly leisure routes from regional airports across the UKs during weekends when the predominantly business destinations its serves from London City are operated at reduced frequency. However, this is understood to be the first time the airline has operated the aircraft for another airline and highlights the synergies now offered following the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus.
The UK carrier has already outlined plans to use its E190s to launch flights from London Stansted this summer, the first time it has served the airport since it was a base for its low-cost unit, Go. Alongside its hub offering at London Heathrow, long- and short-haul predominantly leisure links from London Gatwick and business flights from London City, BA is introducing a leisure programme from Stansted during summer 2016 to the popular holiday sunspots of Faro, Malaga, Palma and Ibiza using a single CityFlyer E190.
The new routes will launch from May 28, 2016 and will operate on a weekly schedule with flights to Ibiza, Malaga and Palma on Saturdays and Faro on Sundays. These are all markets currently served by BA from at least two other London airports – City and Heathrow, while Ibiza, Faro and Malaga are also served from Gatwick.
The airline is also offering a weekly route to Berlin which will help facilitate this operation with the aircraft operating a return service from Berlin to the airport on Friday evenings before returning back to the German capital on Sunday afternoon and flying back to its Docklands home that evening from Germany.