DALLAS – After a summer of bottlenecks and chaos across European airports, Emerald Airlines (EA) has launched its very own ground-handling unit.
Emerald Airlines operates the Aer Lingus (EI) regional arm with 14 ATR 72 aircraft, connecting Ireland to regional airports in the UK.
The summer season brought passenger demand to pre-pandemic levels for many airlines but, delays, lost bags, and cancellations were also intensified which led to the decision to bring ground handling as an in-house operation to reduce these instances.
Conor McCarthy, EA’s chief executive, said, “We felt it would be better to start our own ground-handling unit and take it into our own hands.”
McCarthy also explained that bringing the work in-house instead of contracting it will save the carrier money and it was imperative to launch this operation as one in four EA passengers transfer from other destinations to EI transatlantic flights at Dublin; therefore reliable baggage transfers are crucial.
Aer Lingus had its own share of baggage mishaps this summer mainly on its transfer flights– the difficulty lay in passengers who were transferring to its services from other airlines or at airports with long queues
McCarthy also stated that the issues that disrupted summer travel are less apparent and EA will offer 1.5 million seats for sale next summer operating under EI’s regional banner with 13 routes from Dublin Airport (DUB) and 10 from Belfast City Airport (BHD), the latter where it is currently the biggest carrier.
McCarthy added that EA hired 36 staff members for the new division where they will be responsible for handling check-in bags and other related duties. With this new plan in place and tickets already on sale for next summer, the regional carrier is optimistic about smoother operations and happier passengers.
The airline takes its name from “Emerald Isle,” a nickname for Ireland, due to the vast greenery throughout the Northern Atlantic island.
Featured image: Aer Lingus Regional (Emerald Airlines) OY-YDN ATR 72-600. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways
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