Stobart Air said it is with “great regret and sadness” that the board is in the process of appointing a liquidator to the business and the airline is to cease operations with immediate effect.
“This unavoidable and difficult decision means that all Aer Lingus Regional routes, currently operated by Stobart Air under its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, have been cancelled,” it said in a statement on Saturday.
Stobart Air operated a number of routes from Dublin Airport and Belfast Airport and all passengers booked on the following Aer Lingus Regional routes are advised to check the Aer Lingus website for up-to-date information on refund or rebooking options:
Stobart Air said all 480 staff at the airline have been informed and apologised to customers “for the inconvenience caused at short notice”.
“Last April, Stobart Air announced that a new owner had been identified. However, it has emerged that the funding to support this transaction is no longer in place and the new owner is now unable to conclude the transaction,” it added.
“Given the continued impact of the pandemic, which has virtually halted air travel since March 2019 and in the absence of any alternative purchasers or sources of funding, the board of Stobart Air must take the necessary, unavoidable and difficult decision to seek to appoint a liquidator.
“A franchise flying partner to leading domestic and international airlines, Stobart Air has acknowledged the significant contribution, loyalty, dedication of its 480-stong team of skilled and talented aviation professionals.”
An earlier statement from Aer Lingus said the company was informed by Stobart Air late on Friday evening that Stobart was terminating its franchise agreement with the airline.
“As a result, all Aer Lingus Regional flights operated by Stobart Air are cancelled,” the statement said.
“Customers who were booked to travel on flights operated by Stobart Air are advised not come to the airport and to check the Aer Lingus website for updated information on refund or re-booking options,” Aer Lingus said.
The statement added: “Stobart Air referred to the continuing impact of the pandemic which has resulted in almost no flying since March 2020.
“Stobart Air has ceased trading and is now in the process of appointing a liquidator.
“Aer Lingus apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation at such short notice of all flights operated by Stobart Air. Aer Lingus is now communicating to customers to advise them of their options for refund or re-booking.”