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Boost as airline to hire 50 more staff

FIFTY jobs are to be created at an airline which last year needed court protection to keep trading.

Aer Arann chief executive Paul Schutz said the airline had turned the corner after a period in "successful examinership".

A total of 320 people are currently employed by Aer Arann and Mr Schutz said they expect to have another 50 employees by the end of the year. Last November, the airline was given the green light to formally exit examinership following a major investment after years of sustaining heavy losses.

"We have turned the corner, we believe that our model of frequent regional services is key to that," Mr Schutz said, as the airline launched a new route between Shannon and Edinburgh airports.

"I think the industry itself is still in considerable difficulty especially in Europe, but we think that we have found a sustainable niche and we look forward to building on that," Mr Schutz added. He said the 50 positions would be created "across the company and across the network".

Regarding how Aer Arann could be affected by the cutting of the public service obligations routes from Dublin to Knock, Sligo, Galway and Derry, Mr Schutz said they were "analysing" the government decision.

"I would be happy that there are sustainable markets for all of the regional airports -- it is just a matter of teasing through and finding those," he said.

Meanwhile, newly appointed director at Shannon Airport, Mary Considine said the Clare airport was "already showing real signs of turning the corner" following a difficult 2010.

"We expect that the market for 2011 will continue to be challenging but we are confident that. . . we are now going in the right direction," Ms Considine said.

Irish Independent