Emerald Begins Donegal Flights

The first commercial flight to be operated by Ireland's newest airline has taken place, with Emerald Airlines flying the Donegal-Dublin public service obligation (PSO) route for the first time. The company won the contract from the Government last month and will operate it under the Aer Lingus Regional brand.

Pictured are Conor McCarthy, Emerald Airlines; Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State; Eilis Docherty, Managing Director at Donegal Airport and Steve O'Cúláin, Chairman Donegal Airport.

The airline will also be the new provider of all Aer Lingus Regional services, after it recently signed a ten year contract. These other services consisting of 360 a week across 12 routes in total will commence next month.

The Donegal-Dublin route has been operated on a temporary seven-month basis by Swedish airline, Amapola Flyg AB, since the collapse of the previous contract holder, Stobart Air, in June. Amapola's interim contract has expired, and Emerald has now taken over and will run the PSO service for three years with an option to extend for one more.

The airline will use a 72-seat ATR72-600 and will fly under Aer Lingus flight numbers.