Aer Lingus has canceled 12 regional routes with immediate effect after its agreement with Stobart Air ended suddenly on Friday night. 

Stobart Air informed Aer Lingus late on Friday evening that it was terminating its franchise agreement and in the process of appointing a liquidator. 

Aer Lingus said that it is unsure how many customers will be affected by the cancelations but said that it will be assisting customers with rebookings and refunds. 

The airline advised customers booked on flights operated by Stobart Air to avoid going to the airport. 

The 9:10 flight from Dublin to Glasgow on Saturday morning and the 12:25 flight from Dublin to Kerry on Saturday afternoon were among the first Aer Lingus flights to be canceled in the wake of the news on Friday night. 

All Stobart Air flights on the following routes have now been canceled with immediate effect: Dublin/Kerry; Dublin/Donegal; Dublin/Glasgow; Dublin/Edinburgh; Dublin/Manchester; Dublin/Newquay; Belfast City/Manchester; Belfast City/Birmingham; Belfast City/Edinburgh; Belfast City/Leeds Bradford, Belfast City/Exeter; Belfast City/East Midlands.

In a statement on Friday evening, Stobart Air apologized to customers for canceling flights on short notice. 

The company also acknowledged the "significant contribution, loyalty, and dedication" of its 480 staff. 

"This unavoidable and difficult decision means that all Aer Lingus Regional routes, currently operated by Stobart Air under its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, have been cancelled," Stobart Air said in a statement. 

The airline cited the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the decision, stating that its weekly operating schedule had been reduced by 94% since March 2020. 

Stobart Air's contract with Aer Lingus was due to expire at the end of next year and operated a fleet of 13 aircraft based in Ireland. 

Aer Lingus had already been in advanced talks with Emerald Airlines about taking over the regional contract prior to Stobart Air's announcement and had expected to finalize the deal soon. 

Aer Lingus also announced yesterday that it was canceling several European routes for the remainder of the year due to poor demand from customers.