Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will launch a new service from East Midlands Airport to Belfast City in October.

The three daily return flights will begin on 1 October. This will be the only service connecting EMA to Belfast and it will be operated by an ATR72-600 aircraft.

The flight times allow for easy access to Belfast and Northern Ireland whether visiting for the day or for longer.

Following guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stobart Air, has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers. New measures include:

  • Enhanced aircraft cleaning: To ensure the wellbeing of our passengers and crew, enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures have been introduced for the aircraft cabin, which are in addition to the existing aircraft cleaning schedule. Each aircraft, including seats, armrests and tray tables will be subject to a daily disinfection process which provides surface protection from viruses for 24 hours.
  • On board measures: Face coverings or masks are mandatory on all flights operated by Stobart Air for customers and cabin crew respectively, with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons. The face coverings can be in the form of a reusable cloth mask or a disposable mask and it is recommended that these are worn from the time passengers enter the departure airport to the time they leave their destination airport.

Initially, when flights resume, the in-flight service will be suspended to reduce interaction between crew and passengers. Passengers will be encouraged to remain seated while on board.

At the airport:

  • Stobart Air have introduced new boarding and disembarkation procedures to reduce passenger interaction. Passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers. At the boarding gate, customers will scan their own boarding card and show their passport or ID to the staff member, making this process contactless.

Commenting on the announcement, Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said: “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Stobart Air has been challenged and we have worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline and to position us for the future, once restrictions ease and passenger demand increases.

“Working with Belfast City Airport and East Midlands Airport, along with our partners, Aer Lingus we are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City to service flights to East Midlands.

“High frequency day-return flights from East Midlands to Belfast City Airport will cater to all travellers for direct, convenient and cost-effective flights. We continuously strive to provide our passengers with frequent, convenient and affordable services. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route from East Midlands from 1 October.”

Phillip Morris, East Midlands Airport’s Operations Director, said: “We’re delighted that Stobart Air have stepped in to offer our passengers a new service to Belfast. The three daily flights make it easy for people to travel from this region to explore all that Northern Ireland has to offer, whether for a day trip or longer breaks. This announcement is a real confidence boost for our airport and the region as a whole, providing greater connectivity across the UK.”

Flights from East Midlands to Belfast start from £34.99 one way including taxes and are on sale now at www.aerlingus.com.

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