Stobart Air, which operates a number of regional flights on behalf of Aer Lingus, has ceased trading and will be liquidated.
Flights from Dublin to Kerry, Donegal, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newquay have been cancelled, as well as routes from Belfast to Edinburgh, Exeter, East Midlands, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.
Aer Lingus confirmed it had been notified of Stobart’s plans to call in a liquidator late on Friday evening (11 June).
"As a result, all Aer Lingus Regional flights operated by Stobart Air are cancelled," said the carrier.
According to Aer Lingus, Stobart Air cited the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic for its troubles, resulting in "almost no flying" since March 2020.
"Stobart Air has ceased trading and is now in the process of appointing a liquidator," added Aer Lingus. It also apologised to passengers affected by any cancellations of flights operated by Stobart Air at short notice.
Aer Lingus is contacting customers to advise them of their refund and rebooking options.
Customers booked on flights operated by Stobart are advised not to come to the airport and to check the Aer Lingus website for updates.
Earlier this year, Ettyl announced it would acquire Stobart Air for £49 million. However, this deal, which would have seen Ettyl acquire Stobart Air from Esken – formerly Stobart Group – collapsed at the weekend.
Around 480 roles will be affected by Stobart Air’s collapse. It operated 12 routes on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional from Dublin and Belfast.
Loganair has stepped in to offer rescue fares on all affected Aer Lingus Regional flights to and from Belfast City airport.
In a trading update, Esken said it was advised by Ettyl on 28 May its original funding package to support the deal "was no longer available" and that the Isle of Man firm was "in discussions on alternative funding options".
"It is now clear Ettyl is unable to conclude the transaction on the original terms or obtain an alternative funding package within the required timescale," said Esken.
"Esken has therefore exercised its right to terminate the contracts for the transactions with immediate effect."
Esken added that as it would not be prepared to provide any further ongoing financial support to the business, Stobart Air’s franchise agreement with Aer Lingus had been terminated, with Stobart Air set to cease trading and take steps to appoint a liquidator.