Aer Arann, the Irish regional airline, has launched a four-times weekly service between Galway and Newcastle, on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Previously the only way to Ireland”s Atlantic west coast was via Dublin.
At the same time, the airline and Galway Airport have announced the creation of 30 new jobs as result of a major expansion at the airport. A new purpose built hangar has been built which will house a new engineering base for the carrier. Aer Arann has seen significant growth at Galway in the past few years and currently operates ten routes including Cork, Bristol, Dublin, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle and Lorient.
Commenting on the new jobs, Aer Arann managing director, Garry Cullen (seen above) said: "Today's announcement of new jobs with the introduction of our new engineering base demonstrates Aer Arann's commitment to further developing our relationship and network of routes from Galway Airport. We have received huge support from the board of Galway Airport during the past few years and we are delighted with this new hangar facility which will complement our maintenance work."
Aer Arann was established in the 1970s by Padraig O”Ceidigh, its owner and executive chairman. It currently operates a fleet of two 50-seat ATR 42s and 12 60-seat ATR 72s. In 2006, Aer Arann carried 1.1m passengers, a figure set to grow significantly this year with, by this summer, some 40 routes operating to 25 destinations. More new ATRs are due, some to replace leased-in aircraft.
Galway is the only major city on Ireland”s far west coast and has a population of just 75,000. It is also the gateway to the Aran Islands, after which the airline was named.