Aer Southeast CEO tells customers their money is safe
Newly formed airline has been selling flights from Ireland without licence from regulator
Aer Southeast’s chief executive said the airline still plans to fly to Birmingham, Luton and Manchester from later this month despite it not having the required tour operator’s licence at this point
The chief executive of an airline that has been selling flights from Ireland without a licence has written to customers saying that their money is safe and pledging that its planned services to Britain will take off.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) forced newly-formed Aer Southeast to stop selling tickets when it found that the carrier did not have the required tour operator’s licence.
He said the airline still plans to fly to Birmingham, Luton and Manchester from later this month.
“The regulatory issues which have been mentioned in the media are now close to being resolved and we would like to assure you that these issues have nothing to do with the safety of the airline or the quality of the service which we plan to provide,” Mr Adalsteinsson said.
The CAR confirmed on Monday that Aer Southeast had not applied to it for a tour operator’s licence. The commission sent the airline an application form when it discovered that it had been selling flights without the permit.
In his letter to customers Mr Adalsteinsson’s also stated: “On the matter of the safety of your money, I would like to explain that the money you paid for your flights is currently held in an escrow account by a payment processing company.
“Aer Southeast will not receive the money you have paid until a week after the flight has been completed.”
“In the unlikely event of your flight not taking place, you will be refunded 100 per cent of the price of your ticket.”
Aer Southeast will not say which payments company is holding its customers’ cash in escrow. Nor will it say how much it collected, beyond that they sold very well when it launched its website on June 19th.
The tour operator’s licence required by Irish law is meant to protect consumers. Airlines must put up a bond that can be used to compensate passengers for cancelled flights and pass a financial fitness test.
Once an airline meets the requirements, the CAR can take days to grant the licence. Aer Southeast has not explained why it did not know that it was required to have the permit in order to operate in the Republic.
Aer Southeast must also have an air operator’s certificate issued by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), which oversees safety, or an equivalent EU regulator.
A Slovenian carrier, Lipican Aer, will provide craft and crew to fly the Waterford routes. As Lipican has a certificate issued by an EU state, it is entitled to operate in the Republic. Slovenia’s Civil Aviation Agency will be responsible for regulating Aer Southeast’s safety.
Unnamed Scandinavian and Irish investors are backing Aer Southeast.