Saturday 10 December 2016

Aran Islands air service confirmed for the next year

Shane Phelan, Public Affairs Editor

Published 13/10/2015 | 10:23

A new tender process will now be entered into to choose an operator from October 1, 2016 onwards.
A new tender process will now be entered into to choose an operator from October 1, 2016 onwards.

A contract to provide subsidised flights to the Aran Islands has been extended by a year.

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The move brings to an end weeks of uncertainty over the service following a botched tendering process.

Executive Helicopters had been picked as the preferred bidder for a new contract for the service, based on a bid involving the use of Galway Airport in Carnmore.

However, this tender process was abandoned by Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Joe McHugh after it was made clear by the owners of the Carnmore facility that it may no longer be used as an airport from the end of the year.

Following protracted negotiations, the minister agreed to extend the contract of the current operator, Aer Arann Islands, by 12 months at a cost of €1.62m.

A new tender process will now be entered into to choose an operator from October 1, 2016 onwards.

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