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Southend Airport & Aer Arann

Kent Shrimper

Mike Reid
May 27, 2004

Transport and logistics group Stobart has reached a conditional five-year operating agreement with Aer Arann at London Southend Airport.

The Irish airline will start flights in March next year, with volumes expected to grow to 0.3m passengers annually.

Stobart will invest €2.5m to 'incentivise and market' Aer Arann's operation from Southend.

The group said it was receiving a growing number of enquiries for airfreight services and alignment with Aer Arann offered the potential to explore opportunities.

The deal would guarantee business and volume to underpin acceleration of Stobart's development plans for the airport. It would also help develop the group's business and brand in Ireland.

CEO Andrew Tinkler said, 'Although the agreement provides Stobart with a small stake in the form of a convertible preference share in Aer Arann, it does not signal that we are getting into the airline business and we would not be involved in the day-to-day management of Aer Arann.'

The offer is conditional on Aer Arann successfully exiting examinership, which it hopes to do before the end of the month. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com