A Galway TD says the contract that Aer Árann was awarded in January 2017 to operate PSO flights to and from the Aran Islands was totally unsuitable and there is now an opportunity to reinstate the service that was in place prior to that.

Fianna Fail Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv says that up until now any flight that went to the island prior to the present contact, were the same cost to the islanders or the visitors as the PSO flights in the morning and evening.

Figures show that the numbers carried on the flights are down by 25% compared to what they used to be.

Aer Árann has notified the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht that it is to terminate its contract to operate Public Service Obligation (PSO) flights to the Aran Islands.

The company has served six months notice of its intention to end services in a dispute over the way in which the PSO contract is being interpreted.

The agreement covers around 3,500 flights to and from the three Aran Islands each year.

It is understood there are disagreements between Aer Árann and the Department about charges imposed for flights not covered by the contract.

Deputy O’Cuiv told Midwest News that while he is disappointed to hear that Aer Árann is terminating its contract – an opportunity now exists to improve the service.

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