3/19/2014: Aer Arran Announces Stobart Air Rebrand

Today, in 2014, Dublin-based carrier Aer Arran announced that it would be changing its name to Stobart Air.



March 19, 2024

DALLAS — Today, in 2014, Dublin-based carrier Aer Arran announced that it would change its name to Stobart Air (RE).

The move was part of the airline's 'new beginning' strategy. RE started to operate as an Aer Lingus (EI) Regional franchise in 2010. EI planned to expand this model further with other European airlines to double passenger numbers within five years.

Aer Arran received its first ATR 72-600 in May 2013. Photo: ATR Aircraft.

"Explore New Opportunities"

At the time, RE Chief Executive Sean Brogan said, "Today, we operate 27 routes across Ireland, UK, and France, with over 1.2 million annual passengers. Changing the corporate name is the next step in achieving our ambition to further expand our operations. Stobart Air positions the airline to explore new opportunities and add to our franchise network, particularly in the UK and mainland Europe,"

Aer Arran was created in 1970 to operate services between Galway and the Aran Islands. Steady expansion followed with numerous new routes added, including Public Service Obligation (PSO) services between Donegal (CFN), Sligo (SXL) and Dublin (DUB). It operated a fleet of 36-seat Short 360s.

But by 2008, RE was struggling financially. Management implemented numerous cost-saving measures, including a 20% reduction in staff. By 2010, the airline had been placed in interim examinership while seeking investment.

Aer Arran introduced the ATR-42 in February 2001. Photo: RHL Images from England, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From Trucks to Planes

The investment came from the Stobart Group, a logistics company that purchased a 5% stake in October 2010.

Further restrictions took place. Operations from Stobart-owned London Southend Airport (SEN) began in 2011. RE signed a franchise agreement with Flybe (BE) in March 2014.

However, in November 2020, EI announced that RE was to lose the 'Regional' contract. With the downturn in the aviation industry at the time, RE was subsequently placed into liquidation on June 11, 2021.

Featured image: Stobart Air ATR 72 (EI-REH). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways