Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys TD today announced the award of a new €4.9 million air service contract for the Aran Islands.
The PSO or Public Service Obligation contract comes into force on Tuesday and will run for four years until 2026.
This will provide essential continental connectivity for island communities, which will significantly boost tourism.
For the first time, the contract also guarantees the provision of a direct service from the mainland to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, which will guarantee a faster service for these small islands.
The contract with Galway Aviation Services Limited, trading as Aer Arann Islands, follows extensive consultation with island stakeholders and a comprehensive procurement process.
The contract will provide 68,274 OSP seats per year to the three islands and will operate from Aerfort Chonamara in Inverin, which was purchased by the state in 2019.
The contract will also see the introduction of a flextime program which will allow the operator to better respond to demands for local services, such as island festivals and events.
“Ad hoc” and “scheduled non-OSP” flights will also be provided by the operator to meet any demand above the agreed OSP seat allocation.