Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, has marked the beginning of its new route from Birmingham to Belfast.
Beginning today, the airline will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport with fares starting from £29.99 one way including taxes.
Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will base five ATR72-600 aircraft at Belfast City Airport.
Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City.
Following guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stobart Air has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers. New measures include:
Enhanced aircraft cleaning:
To ensure the wellbeing of our passengers and crew, enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures have been introduced for the aircraft cabin, which are in addition to the existing aircraft cleaning schedule. Each aircraft, including seats, armrests and tray tables will be subject to a daily disinfection process which provides surface protection from viruses for 24 hours.
On board measures:
Face coverings or masks are mandatory on all flights operated by Stobart Air for customers and cabin crew respectively, with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons. The face coverings can be in the form of a reusable cloth mask or a disposable mask and it is recommended that these are worn from the time passengers enter the departure airport to the time they leave their destination airport.
Initially, when flights resume, the in-flight service will be suspended to reduce interaction between our crew and passengers. Passengers will be encouraged to remain seated while on board.
At the airport:
Stobart Air has introduced new boarding and disembarkation procedures to reduce passenger interaction. Passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers. At the boarding gate, customers will scan their own boarding card and show their passport or ID to the staff member, making this process contactless.
Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said:
“We are delighted that Stobart Air has given customers the chance to fly to Belfast City Airport again direct from Birmingham Airport. This much needed domestic route comes under the Common Travel Area, ensuring customers can move easily and freely between England and Northern Ireland. The convenience of this route will appeal to both business and leisure customers needing direct access to the Emerald Isle.”
Commenting on the announcement, Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said:
“We are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City Airport and to work closely with Birmingham Airport, Belfast City Airport and our partners Aer Lingus to operate flights to and from Birmingham.
“Stobart Air has worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline during challenging times and to position us for the future. The launch of this service is part of that.
“This new Aer Lingus Regional route will facilitate key links and connectivity between these cities and ensure we provide choice, value and convenience for our customers. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this Birmingham-Belfast route from today.”