United Kingdom

Stobart Air calls in liquidators

Thousands of passengers risk being left stranded  following the collapse of one of the biggest regional airlines operating between Britain and the Irish mainland.

Stobart Air, which operates a string of short-haul and services on behalf of Aer Lingus, British Airways and KLM, has ceased trading and is calling in liquidators.

Aer Lingus flights from Belfast to Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh, Exeter, Manchester, East Midlands and Birmingham have been cancelled as a result.

Links from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newquay to Dublin are also down, as well as Irish domestic routes from the capital to Donegal and Kerry.

The insolvency follows the collapse of the sale of the airline by London-listed owner Esken to Ettyle, a company set up by Isle of Man cryptocurrency entrepreneur Jason Scales

Mr Scales had previously agreed to buy the airline for a nominal £2.

Esken, formerly known as Stobart Group, said: “It is now clear that Ettyl is unable to conclude the transactions on the original terms or to obtain an alternative funding package within the required timescale. 

“Esken has therefore exercised its right to terminate the contracts for the transactions with immediate effect. 

“In the absence of any alternative purchasers or sources of funding for the SA [Stobart Air] business within the timescales required, Esken has advised the board of SA that it will not continue to provide financial support to the business going forward. 

“As a result of this the Board of SA has terminated its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, will cease trading and is taking steps to appoint a liquidator.”

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