Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Public Service Obligation
237. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department is monitoring the success or otherwise of the performance of the Kerry to Dublin air route given the commitment he made in respect of the public service obligation service in the event of market failure; if he is satisfied that the current service will remain in place and is serving the equivalent needs as set out in the public service obligation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62889/21]
I would like to advise the Deputy that regional connectivity is of critical importance to this Government. Furthermore, National Policy on Aviation aims to enhance Ireland’s connectivity by ensuring safe, secure and competitive access responsive to the needs of business, tourism and consumers.
As the Deputy is aware, a Public Service Obligation (PSO) air service operated between Kerry and Dublin prior to Stobart Air’s entering into voluntary liquidation in June. At that time an airline made an offer to operate the same level of service on this route but with no subsidy from the State. In accordance with EU Regulation 1008/2008, an EU air carrier is allowed to commence scheduled air services on PSO routes provided all public service requirements are met. On foot of this, this route has operated commercially since 28 July 2021.
As a PSO is now no longer imposed on the Kerry-Dublin route, the operation of this route is a commercial matter for the airline providing the service.
In the event of any lost or failed services, whether provided by way of Public Service Obligation (PSO) or otherwise, Government must adhere to Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, which provides for the common rules for the operation of PSO air services in the European Union.