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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced the awarding of a new €4.9 million air service contract for the Aran Islands.

The PSO or Public Service Obligation contract comes into effect on Tuesday and will run for four years until 2026.

This will ensure essential mainland connectivity for the island communities which will significantly boost tourism.

For the first time, the contract also ensures the provision of a direct service from the mainland to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, which will ensure a faster service for those smaller islands.

The contract with Galway Aviation Services Limited, trading as Aer Arann Islands, follows extensive consultation with island stakeholders and a full procurement process.

The contract will provide 68,274 PSO seats annually 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 flexible scheduling scheme that will allow operator to better respond to local service demands, such as island festivals and events.

‘Ad Hoc’ and ‘Scheduled non-PSO’ flights will also be provided by the operator to meet any demand above the agreed PSO seating allocation.