Aer Arann and Aer Lingus are adding a sixth plane to their fleet as part of its franchise agreement.

The new plane will be used to launch two new routes between Dublin and Bristol and Aberdeen from March, with onward connections from to Dublin to Aer Lingus trans-Atlantic services.

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, will fly three return flights six days a week and two return flights on Saturdays between Dublin and Bristol.

The Dublin flights will connect Aer Lingus' New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando services to and from Bristol, which currently has no direct services to the US.

The new Dublin-Aberdeen services will operate every day except Saturday. The Scottish airport also has no direct services to the US.

The new routes increases the total number of Aer Lingus Regional routes to 15, with passenger numbers expected to grow to 750,000 next year.

'The additional aircraft and routes demonstrate the confidence of Aer Arann and Aer Lingus in the franchise flying model that matches capacity and frequency requirements to demand,' commented Aer Arann's chief executive Paul Schutz.