Aer Arann flights to islands secured for another year


Aer Arann will continue its air service to the Aran Islands for another year.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has confirmed its contract to provide the State-subsidised flights has been extended to the end of September 2016

The interim contract will cost €1.62 million, during which time a procurement process will take place for a new tender.

The announcement comes after a climbdown by the Department of the Gaeltacht, which had issued a now cancelled contract to a helicopter service - a move opposed by residents of the islands.

In a press release, the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr. Joe McHugh said: "The same level of grant-aided service will be provided under this extension as is available at present. The period of the extension will be used to undertake a new procurement process for a four year contract."

The Minister of State also announced that his Department has agreed a four-year contract with Galway Aviation Services Ltd - trading as Aer Arann - for the provision of aerodrome management services on the Aran Islands and at Cleggan and Inishbofin, Co. Galway until 30 September 2019.

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