Written Answers. - Air Services.

Joe Sherlock

Question:

99 Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport his plans for the reallocation of the regional air routes previously held by a company (details supplied); the current per passenger subsidy paid in respect of each of the regional air routes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2756/03]

Dinny McGinley

Question:

137 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Transport his plans to provide a service to Donegal Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2646/03]

Denis Naughten

Question:

255 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Transport the action he intends to take to replace the Euroceltic service to Sligo and Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2886/03]

Dinny McGinley

Question:

274 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the serious implications for Donegal Airport and the public in general with the suspension of the Euroceltic service; and the steps being taken to provide an alternative service as soon as possible. [3012/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 99, 137, 255 and 274 together.

I would refer the Deputies to the comprehensive reply which the Minister gave in response to a Dáil question by Deputy Sargent on 26 November 2002. That reply gave detailed information about the current PSO air service regime which links our regional airports with Dublin, including the overall Exchequer subvention levels and the average Exchequer subvention per passenger for each route. With regard to the Sligo and Donegal routes, I would refer the Deputies to the press statement issued by me on 30 January 2003.

In accordance with that press statement, officials in my Department are currently organising a rapid tender process for the provision of PSO services on these two routes for the rest of the year, pending the development of more permanent arrangements. The objective, as set out in my statement is to complete this tender process and procure the restoration of air services on these two routes within a period of four to five weeks.