Dublin to Donegal is a PSO (Public Service Obligation) route in Ireland, meaning it is operated with a government subsidy. Since the demise of Stobart Air, it has been operated by Swedish outfit Amapola Flyg.
I had the pleasure of flying with the airline on their Fokker 50 in September 2021 on the route. Friendly pilots and cabin crew, along with an immaculately maintained aircraft made for a very pleasant flight.
Dublin to Donegal with Aer Lingus Regional
You might not recognise the name Stobart Air, because they were the airline operating as Aer Lingus Regional. Once they went under, a variety of airlines took over their former routes. For example, Ryanair took over the Dublin to Kerry PSO route, which I flew in August 2021.
The new airline operating for Aer Lingus Regional will be an Irish startup called Emerald Airlines. They will be using the ATR72-600 for their flights, with seating for 72 passengers.
They had won the tender to operate regional services before Stobart Air went belly up, but had to fast-track their creation as an airline as a result. No doubt they picked up some former staff along the way.
Services on the Dublin to Donegal route will kick off on 26 February and flights will operate up to twice daily. As with the previous schedule, there is usually a morning and an evening flight to facilitate day trips and business.
According to the Emerald Airlines press release, there was an EU public tendering process operated for the PSO. While this happened, it is completely unsurprising that the local airline won it, especially as they already have the Aer Lingus Regional franchise.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Anyway, it is good to see this PSO route awarded. It will be interesting to see if Ryanair continue with the Kerry route or whether Emerald will also snag that one (Emerald will snag that one!)
Do you ever have to fly Dublin to Donegal or vice versa? What do you think of the news? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Michael Kelly on Flickr.