Aer Lingus has announced that a number of regional flights have been cancelled after operator Stobart Air ended its contract with the Irish airline.
The announcement affects several flights from Dublin and Belfast City airports to UK cities.
An Aer Lingus statement said: “Late on the evening of June 11, Stobart Air notified Aer Lingus that it was terminating its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus with immediate effect.
“As a result, all Aer Lingus regional flights operated by Stobart Air are cancelled.
“Stobart Air referred to the continuing impact of the pandemic which has resulted in almost no flying since March 2020.
“Stobart Air has ceased trading and is now in the process of appointing a liquidator.
“Aer Lingus apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation at such short notice of all flights operated by Stobart Air.
“Aer Lingus is now communicating to customers to advise them of their options for refund or rebooking.”
Customers who have booked flights are advised not go to the airport and to check the Aer Lingus website.
The announcement affects flights from Dublin to Kerry, Donegal, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newquay.
Flights from Belfast City Airport to Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Exeter and East Midlands have also been cancelled.
A spokesperson for Belfast City Airport said: “We were informed by Aer Lingus this morning that Stobart Air, who operated the Aer Lingus regional franchise, has ceased operations.
“The Aer Lingus Heathrow service is not affected and is still operating.
“We apologise to our passengers for this inconvenience and are working with Aer Lingus to ensure these routes are operating again as soon as possible.”
A spokesperson for Stobart Air said: “It is with great regret and sadness that Stobart Air can confirm that the board is in the process of appointing a liquidator to the business and the airline is to cease operations with immediate effect.
“Stobart Air apologises to all its customers for the inconvenience caused at short notice. All 480 staff at the airline have been informed.
“Last April, Stobart Air announced that a new owner had been identified. However, it has emerged that the funding to support this transaction is no longer in place and the new owner is now unable to conclude the transaction.
“Given the continued impact of the pandemic which has virtually halted air travel… and in the absence of any alternative purchasers or sources of funding, the board of Stobart Air must take the necessary, unavoidable and difficult decision to seek to appoint a liquidator.”