Aer Lingus to add UK domestic route, close Shannon base

A new service is being added between Belfast and Glasgow, while a base at Shannon will be closed.

Aer Lingus Regional is adding a Glasgow International Airport (GLA) service to its route network from George Best Belfast City (BHD).

The UK domestic route will be operated by Stobart Air using ATR 82-600 aircraft. Flights will initially be 11X-weekly from July 1, with frequencies increasing to 19X-weekly in August. 

“In light of the successful COVID-19 vaccination rollout allowing air travel to increase safely, we are pleased to add this new route from Glasgow to Belfast to our route network, which will cater to both business and leisure travelers with direct, convenient, and cost-effective flights,” Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said.

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows the Belfast-Glasgow market is currently served 9X-weekly by easyJet, which operates between Belfast International (BFS) and GLA.

Scottish carrier Loganair launched a BHD-GLA route in September 2020 before pausing flights in December. OAG data shows the route will return on a regular basis on Sept. 1, operating up to 3X-daily.

The BHD-GLA sector was previously served by Flybe until its demise in March 2020.

The latest network expansion by Aer Lingus Regional comes shortly after the carrier announced plans for a Dublin ({{DUB}}) to Cardiff (CWL) route, which will be 3X-weekly from Aug. 30, and for a 4X-weekly BHD-CWL route from June 28.

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus has confirmed that it will close its base at Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland as part of efforts to cut costs. Staff at the airline’s Cork (ORK) base will also be temporarily laid off between Sept. 12 and Nov. 22, during which time the airport will be closed to complete an upgrade to its runway.

A statement from SNN said: “This announcement highlights once again the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the aviation sector here.

“Restoring regional connectivity and international travel will be pivotal to economic recovery as we emerge from the effects of the pandemic. Critical to this will be the urgent implementation of a clear road map and timelines for the restart of aviation.”

The airport added that Aer Lingus remained “a valued partner” and it was committed to working with the airline to restore connectivity.

Photo credit: Aer Lingus Regional/Stobart Air