Who is Stobart Air? You Probably Don’t Even Realise You’ve Flown With Them…

Many Brits will know of Stobart, one of the UK’s largest haulage company, however, did you know that Stobart actually operates an airline, Stobart Air? Even more surprisingly, you may have flown on Stobart Air without even realising. This is as Stobart Air operate a number of flights for well-known airlines under wet-lease and franchising agreements. Their biggest client is Flybe, while the airline also operates a number of Aer Lingus regional flights and BA City Flyer flights.

Stobart Air
Stobart Air operates Aer Lingus’ regional flights. Photo: Rob Hodgkins

Who Is Stobart Air?

Stobart Air is a relatively young airline compared to some that Simple Flying has covered. However, at just four and a half years old, it is already doing well. The airline currently operates a fleet of 19 aircraft on 42 different routes. Stobart Air has two bases for each of its big clients. Aer Lingus Regional operates out of Cork and Dublin, while its Flybe contract operates out of London Southend Airport (more on that later) and the Isle of Man. In total Stobart Air operates 860 flights per week, spanning 10 different countries.

London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport (SEN) is one of the main bases for Stobart Air. Why you may ask? The airport is actually owned and operated by the Stobart Group, who also own Stobart Air. Surprisingly Southend Airport used to be London’s third-busiest airport in the 1960s-1970s. Now the airport has 5 airlines operating services, while Ryanair is set to establish a base there next year with 14 proposed destinations.

Stobart Air
London Southend Airport is also run by the Stobart Group. Photo: ITV

Flybe Acquisition?

With the news that both IAG and Virgin Atlantic are interested in purchasing Flybe, Simple Flying understands that the Stobart Group is also interested in purchasing the regional airline. It would make sense as they already run a number of Flybe routes. Stobart Air has interest in both Flybe, and IAG, given it runs some BA Cityflyer services, in addition to the regional Aer Lingus services.

In an emailed statement to Simple Flying, a representative of the airline said: 

“It is business as usual for Stobart Air. The airline currently operate nine routes from London Southend Airport under our Flybe franchise agreement. This will reduce to five for the summer 2019 schedule including the new London Southend Airport- Newquay Cornwall route.”

Do you think Stobart Air has a chance in purchasing Flybe? Let us know in the comments down below!

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