Waterford Airport, Aer Arann and Wexford Festival Opera Link Up to Increase Visitor Numbers to the South East

August 2011

In a strategic move to increase visitor numbers to the South East, Waterford Airport, Aer Arann and Wexford Festival Opera have collaborated to offer a unique travel partnership which sees Wexford Festival Opera passengers travelling to Wexford from the UK a more convenient service than ever as Aer Arann announces a special discount for Festival goers and Waterford Airport in conjunction with Wexford Festival Opera announces a courtesy shuttle bus to the festival.

The new travel partnership was announced at Waterford Airport today (Monday, August 15) with plenty of time to arrange booking for the milestone 60th Wexford Festival Opera which will take place from Friday October 21 to Saturday November 5, 2011.

The partnership sees Aer Arann offering Wexford Festival Opera goers 10% off the cost of their flights from London Southend, London Luton, Manchester and Birmingham direct to Waterford Airport which is just one hour from Wexford town. Festival Patrons can also avail of a dedicated complimentary bus transfer to Wexford provided courtesy of Waterford Airport in conjunction with Wexford Festival Opera, making travelling to the festival easier than ever.

Wexford Festival Opera attracts more international visitors than any other major Irish cultural event, being Ireland’s leading cultural destination event and contributor to cultural tourism. This new partnership is designed to make the journey to Wexford Festival Opera more convenient for their many UK visitors.

Graham Doyle, Chief Executive at Waterford Airport, said the partnership fits well with the facility’s role as a key piece of regional transport infrastructure in the Southeast. “Waterford Airport is the South East’s Airport and we are delighted to be able to create this link for our passengers with one of Ireland’s leading cultural events. The festival is a hugely important tourism asset for us in the region.”

Commenting on the recent business partnership, Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Trust, David McLoughlin said, “We were very encouraged by the enthusiastic response from our significant number of UK patrons to last year's pilot initiative between Wexford Opera, Waterford Airport and Aer Arann. Therefore we are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to develop this innovative partnership, providing our valued UK-based patrons with a means of international access, of exceptional service quality and value for money, to one of Ireland's leading national cultural events, which increasingly makes a major contribution to Ireland's cultural tourism, given its unique international brand recognition and artistic reputation."

Aer Arann Director of Corporate Affairs, Andrew Kelly said “Aer Arann is delighted to support the Wexford Festival Opera by providing discounted flights for audiences and patrons visiting the South East. We are committed to offering our customers direct, value for money connections to the regions and together with Waterford Airport we look forward to welcoming our Wexford Festival Opera guests on board in the near future.”

This year’s Wexford Festival Opera will run over 16 days, opening on Friday, October 21st and running until Saturday, November 5th, 2011. Featuring over 50 daytime and evening events including ‘La cour de Célimène’, an opéra-comique, by Ambroise Thomas; ‘Maria’, by the Polish composer Roman Statkowski, written in 1903 and in honour of our 60th season, the 1839 melodrama ‘Gianni di Parigi’ by Gaetano Donizetti.

Aer Arann operate fourteen flights per week to London Southend, eight times per week return flights to London Luton, four times a week return flights to/from Manchester, four times weekly return flights to Birmingham and the 2011 summer route offers twice weekly return flights to Lorient in Brittany in France and also connects with Galway Airport all direct from Waterford Airport. Passengers wishing to avail of the travel discount and complimentary transfer should book directly at www.aerarann.com/wexfordopera

Pictured at Waterford Airport are Richie Hayes Stage School pupils Patrick O’Leary age 6 and Ella Hanamy age 5 celebrating the announcement of a new strategic partnership with Waterford Airport and Aer Arann as the Festival’s new Official Airport Partner and Official Airline. Wexford Festival Opera goers receive 10% off the cost of their flights from London Southend, London Luton, Manchester and Birmingham direct to Waterford Airport. Wexford Festival Opera runs Saturday, October 21  through Saturday, November 5, 2011. www.wexfordopera.com - Photograph Patrick Browne