Planning a trip between Oban and Coll, Colonsay and Tiree after 15 May? Please check the ferry timetables at www.calmac.co.uk
As it stands, there will be no scheduled flights for at least six weeks from that date, while we work towards putting a new air services contract in place. A procurement process for a new three-year contract failed to attract an acceptable bid, and funding legislation means that, should a bid be accepted after a second procurement process, the contract could not begin until 28 June at the earliest.
Due to EU law and state aid rules, we can’t identify any way to extend the current contract to cover the gap.
Argyll and Bute Council is doing everything we can to secure a positive future for the air services and we are committed to finding a solution. However, we need an acceptable bid from an operator for this to happen. The contract outlines the level of subsidy available (more than £1.5million over three years) and makes it clear that we recognise changes may be required to the current timetable as part of a successful bid.
We have communicated directly with communities on the islands on this issue and we will provide further updates as regularly as we can in the months ahead.