THE INAUGURAL flight for Ireland's newest airline has taken place today, having taken off from Donegal for arrival into Dublin Airport.
The airline is an exclusive operator of the Aer Lingus Regional network, with the new route set to become an essential link between the North West and Dublin in the absence of a motorway or rail network in the region.
Fares start at €29.99, with Emerald Airlines offering up to four flights daily linking with convenient flight timings and seat numbers to enable same-day return trips to Dublin, and connections on the Aer Lingus network from Dublin.
Further route announcements are to be made in the coming weeks, and the airline plans to operate 360 flights per week across 12 routes.
Commenting on the announcement, Conor McCarthy, CEO and Founder of Emerald Airlines, said:
"Today marks a huge milestone in our journey to become Ireland’s largest regional airline.
"There has been a considerable amount of hard work behind the scenes in order to make this day a reality. I would like to thank all those involved; especially our amazing team at Emerald Airlines, our partners in Aer Lingus, Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton and their team at the Department of Transport, and our friends at Donegal Airport."
"This morning’s flight, which marks Government’s commitment to ensuring continued connectivity to this region for the next 3 years, is also the inaugural flight of Emerald Airlines, Ireland’s newest Airline.
"I would like to wish Emerald Airline’s every success in operating and growing this route and providing the people and businesses in the North-West with daily air services to Dublin to attend medical and other important appointments as well as supporting the economy and tourism in the region.
Emerald Airlines will be operating the State subsidised Donegal-Dublin PSO route using Aer Lingus’ flight numbers and the Aer Lingus brand franchise with 72-seater ATR 72-600.
A temporary contract, providing these Exchequer funded PSO services, operated by Amapola Flyg AB following the collapse of Stobart Air last June, expired on 25 February. A new contract with Emerald Airlines will operate from today until 25 February 2025 and may be extended for a further one-year period.