Argyll and Bute Council and Hebridean Air agree in principle to new three-year public service obligation (PSO) contract

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Published Date: 

7 May 2015 - 20:01

Current contract to be extended by one month to ensure continuity of service

Subsidy of over £2million makes flights financially viable for private operator and keeps island communities connected

Argyll and Bute Council and Hebridean Air Services Ltd. (HASL) have secured a sustainable future for the vital air services to Coll, Colonsay and Tiree after a contract was today (Thursday 7th May) agreed in principle for HASL to deliver the flights on the council’s behalf for the next three years.

Chair of the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee, Councillor Roddy McCuish, said of this news: ‘’HASL reassured us over the weekend of its commitment to providing island flights and I am absolutely delighted that we were able to come to a positive agreement.

‘’We as a council are committed to supporting our island communities as much as we can. Despite the challenging financial climate we have dedicated over £2million to continuing this service.

‘’We are pleased that HASL has worked with us to reach this agreement which secures the outcome everyone wants – a sustainable future for these lifeline services.

‘’This in principle agreement ensures island communities will stay connected, provides best value for the taxpayer and makes the service sustainable.

‘’Our focus throughout this process has been on supporting people living on these islands; we have worked hard to get to this stage and we are happy we can give those people the comfort that the service will continue.’’

Director of HASL, George Cormack, said: ‘’I am really happy we have come to a mutual agreement and we look forward to continuing to deliver a high level of service, as we have done over the past four years.’’

In order to allow the necessary legal and technical checks on the new contract to be completed the council and HASL have agreed to extend the current contract by one month, ensuring continuity of service.