Stobart Air’s majority shareholder, Esken has agreed to divest their stake in the company, selling to Isle of Man group, Ettyl.
Esken, formerly the Stobart Group, had previously expressed their intention to sell Stobart Air, which operates the Air Lingus Regional franchise, by the end of their financial year on February 28th, according to The Irish Times.
The company confirmed the sale this morning in a statement: “Stobart Air is pleased that this transaction is now concluded and a new owner of the airline is in place. This transaction is a significant testament to, and endorsement of, the value Ettyl see in our airline, in our product, in the service we provide and importantly, in our people.
“Under new ownership, the airline is now well positioned to embrace new opportunities as markets return and economies begin to recover from the impact of the pandemic.”
Stobart Air operates a fleet of 13 aircraft from Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Kerry and Donegal airports, in addition to operating 13 routes from airports in Britain, the short-term future of which was addressed in today’s statement.
“Given the role we play and the service we provide in franchise flying and delivering regional connectivity, there is significant opportunity for growth and network development as we continue to operate the existing Aer Lingus Regional franchise through to December 31st, 2022,” the statement added.
The regional franchise contract, which Stobart Air has held since 2011, had been due to end at the end of next year, with Aer Lingus partaking in exclusive talks with Emerald Airlines to take over the contract.