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Aran Islands Air Service

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, has announced today (30 November 2018) that his Department has reached agreement with Galway Aviation Services Limited (trading as Aer Arann Islands) in relation to the Aran Islands air service and Connemara Airport.

Under this arrangement, Heads of Agreement setting out a process under which negotiations can proceed with regard to the potential purchase of Connemara Airport by the Department, has been signed by both parties.

The contract under which the airport is made available for the provision of the air service has been extended up until September 2021 and Aer Arann Islands has agreed to continue providing the air service up until 20 December 2018. These agreements will allow both parties to conclude the above-mentioned negotiations in the months ahead. Also during this period, the Department will immediately issue a Request for Tender for interim service, under a contract which will operate from 21st December 2018 to 30th September 2019. A further tender process to award a four-year contract will be undertaken while this short-term contract is in operation.

Making the announcement, Minister of State Kyne stated that he was pleased that his Department had reached an agreement which sets out a plan with regard to the future of this service. “I welcome the arrangement under which Aerfort na Mine will be available for the air service until 2021. I believe that we have now set out a pathway to ensure the future of this service. I would like to thank my officials and the Department’s legal team for all their efforts with this process, the island communities for their contribution, patience and understanding and, finally, Aer Arann and its representatives for their efforts to secure this agreement”, stated the Minister of State.