Independent Thomas Pringle said standby aircraft must be made available as needed to ensure a reliable air service for Donegal Airport at Carrickfinn.
“Flight delays and cancellations are very worrying for people who depend on the service for work, for tourism and especially those who rely on the flights to attend medical appointments,” he said.
“Air service from Donegal is a vital service for many cancer patients who cannot sit for prolonged periods on bus journeys.”
Deputy Pringle received an email on the matter yesterday from Jack Chambers, Minister of State for Transport. The deputy had also raised the issue of the flight cancellations with the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, in the Dáil earlier this year.
“Minister Chambers acknowledged that a dedicated standby aircraft was brought into service in February, after the period between February 4th and 13th saw 12 flights cancelled,” he explained.
“The Minister said that technical difficulties this month also, unfortunately, resulted in two cancelled flight rotations.
“If there is a dedicated standby aircraft in case of technical problems, why wasn’t it available to Donegal at those times?” he said.
Deputy Pringle said he welcomed the Minister’s confirmation that the Department continues to monitor the airline’s performance and engage with the airline.
“If weather disrupts flights, that’s fair enough. However, we must make sure that all steps are taken to ensure that flights are not cancelled due to technical difficulties.”Tags: