Contact was made with the airport over the weekend and the matter is now with the Department of Transport.
Talks had been underway for some months between Kerry Airport and several airline companies in anticipation Stobart Air facing difficulties continuing to operate the Kerry to Dublin route for the remaining seven months of its contract.
Approaches to Nordica were already at advanced stage when news emerged of Stobart Air’s immediate collapse at the weekend and are understood to have progressed further since.
Stobart operated the Aer Lingus Regional network, mainly connecting British regional airports with the Republic, under a deal that was due to run until next year.
It also operated Government-funded public service obligation (meaning the route is subsidised by the government) services between Dublin and Kerry and Dublin and Donegal.
Of the 12 routes immediately affected by Stobart Air’s decision to cease trading, Aer Lingus will operate five routes, and for at least the next week BA CityFlyer will operate two.
At the moment there are no plans to service the two regional routes from Kerry and Donegal to Dublin.
The Kerry to Dublin connection accounts for a third of passenger numbers for Kerry Airport and is considered vital. Other airlines including Emerald have also shown interest in the contract.
John Mulhern, chief executive of Kerry Airport said on Monday he was confident a replacement carrier was ready to step in.
“I am very confident, if the arrangements can be put in place, this may be a lot sooner than expected,” Mr Mulhern said, when asked if another airline could be found to maintain the four flights a day to and from Dublin.
The airport was braced for Stobart pulling out and it is owed less than €400, Mr Mulhern said.
The PSO contract process allows for a replacement carrier to be appointed, without going through the full tender process, should an appointed carrier cease to operate. This could see another carrier take on the remainder of the current contract relatively swiftly.
There are also contingency plans for dealing with a financial loss to the airport should the vacuum continue for the next seven months when the PSO contract is out to tender again.
Coincidentally this is the timeframe allowed for a replacement under provisions in the government funded public service obligation contract should a carrier cease to operate.
The subsidised route is considered vital for Kerry tourism and business and it serves an important role in carrying cancer patients and others for medical treatment in Dublin.
Passenger numbers had been growing prior to the pandemic and more than 58,000 people flew on Dublin Kerry route in 2019.
Numbers were gradually increasing again with flights about half full in recent weeks following a period of reduced passenger demand during the pandemic.
Staffing had also been reduced at the airport with private agreements reached with just under ten staff, he said.
Flights from Kerry to London, Franfurt Hahn, Faro and Alicante are set to return in July. The regional PSO four flights a day continued to operate throughout the Covid restrictions.
The airport is also trying to grow its private jet business.
Nadine Lott told ex-partner who later killed her not to ‘threaten’ her, court hears
Nadine Lott told her former partner not to “threaten” her two weeks before he killed her, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
The jury in the trial of Daniel Murtagh was given transcripts on Tuesday of WhatsApp messages between the accused and his ex-girlfriend in the days and weeks leading up to her death.
In them, the accused asks her if she is “seeing someone from Dublin”. In reply, Ms Lott tells him she is not seeing anyone. Mr Murtagh asks her if there was a “Dublin lad” in her “place” and she tells him to “leave it out”.
She tells him that “nothing is ever going to happen between us again, I want to make that clear.”
In another text from December 5th the accused said: “Nadine I worry about ye, not in love, just don’t slip”.
She replied: “Don’t threaten me either”.
Evidence has previously been given that Mr Murtagh told a motorist that he had “killed my wife because she was with my friend”, just hours after he assaulted her.
John Begley testified last week that he saw a car in a ditch as he was travelling over Bookies Bridge in Laragh on the morning of December 14th and then came across the accused man standing at the side of the road.
“Daniel said to me ‘you don’t know what I’ve done”. I said what did you do. He said ‘I killed my wife’. I didn’t think anything of it. He said it a second time and said he hoped she was not dead. He said ‘she was with my friend’,” said Mr Begley.
Mr Murtagh (34), of Melrose Grove, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 30-year-old ex-partner Ms Lott at her apartment in St Mary’s Court, Arklow, Co Wicklow on December 17th, 2019.
The jury has heard that Ms Lott suffered “severe blunt force trauma” and stab injuries at the hands of her former partner “in a sustained and violent attack” in her Arklow home.
They have heard evidence that the injuries to Ms Lott were so serious that she never regained consciousness and died three days later in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.
An intensive care nurse at the hospital has told the jury that Ms Lott was “completely unrecognisable” and that she had never seen anybody so badly injured. A paramedic who attended to Ms Lott at her home told the jury that the call will “haunt” him for the rest of his career and was one of the most “horrendous scenes” he had ever walked into. The garda who telephoned ambulance control informed them that Ms Lott had been “beaten to a pulp”.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury of seven men and five women.
Shocking news, Irish people may be sanest in Europe
Ireland is running low on loopers. If we don’t watch out, we could emerge from the pandemic with our reputation for wildness completely shredded. We are in danger of being exposed as the sanest people in Europe.
Vaccines go into the arm, but also into the brain. They are a kind of probe sent into the national consciousness. In Ireland’s case, the probe has discovered exciting evidence of intelligent life.
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