Home News Significant reduction in fare revenues forces Aer Arann to suspend all Galway services (November 2011)
Significant reduction in fare revenues forces Aer Arann to suspend all Galway services (November 2011) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 00:00

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With the decision to suspend all Galway services for winter season (see Galway Airport), Aer Arann has said that booked passengers on all routes will be offered a full refund but passengers on the Manchester and Edinburgh routes will have a rebooking option, instead of a refund, on Aer Lingus Regional flights operated by Aer Arann from other airports such as Shannon or Dublin. Passengers with confirmed booking for flights after 31st October are being contacted directly by Aer Arann about their travel options. In a statement Paul Schütz, Aer Arann’s Chief Executive. “The reality however is that we are not yet a year out of examinership and we are not in a position to continue to operate routes that are not commercially viable.” Aer Arann Regional has 35 flight deck and cabin crew based in Galway and all will be offered the opportunity to move to their bases in Shannon, Cork, Dublin and Waterford. The Aer Arann hangar facility and engineering staff at Galway Airport are not impacted by this decision. However, a small number of redundancies could arise, should some crew members not be in a position to relocate but Aer Arann say that the priority is to limit the number of redundancies where possible including the potential for staff to take unpaid leave through the winter.

In the months ahead Aer Arann will work with the airport with the aim of re-launching services from Galway at the beginning of the summer season in April as well as examining the potential for a number of routes from Galway to the UK and France. The catchment and geographical position of Galway means the airport faces competition from Ireland West Knock Airport and Shannon Airport, with Flybe and Ryanair increasing routes from Ireland West Knock Airport. In a statement Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said that the decision was regrettable but was inevitable due to the commercial reality. He added “projected fare revenues and load factors for the winter months showed each route as being significantly loss-making with no prospect that bookings would recover to the point that services could have been continued from Galway on a commercially viable basis”. A report on Twitter stated Aer Arann had nine out of 10 seats empty on routes from Galway, with 200 bookings up to Christmas.


This article first appeared in the November 2011 Issue of FlyingInIreland Magazine



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