The Department of Transport has launched a new tender for an airline to provide State-subsidised air services between Dublin and Donegal.
The route, which operates as a Public Service Obligation, had previously been operated by Stobart Air before it collapsed in June. Swedish operator Amapola was awarded a short-term contract to operate the service twice a day in both directions using a 50-seater Fokker 50 turbo-prop aircraft.
The new contract is for an operator from the end of February 2022 for three years.
The contract will stipulate that on weekdays flight schedules must include an early morning flight from Donegal Airport, departing before 8am and a late evening flight from Dublin, departing after 6.30pm.
The department has estimated the cost of running the service is €17m for the three years. The PSO contract allows for the payment of a subsidy to cover costs including an up to 8pc profit margin for the winning airline.
Subject to a satisfactory review, the department will be able to extend the term of the contract for a period of up to one year with a maximum of one such extension.