Airline yet to apply for Irish licence stops selling tickets

Aer Southeast stops selling flights after regulator found it had no operator’s licence

A new airline that has been selling tickets for flights to Britain from the Republic has yet to apply for a licence to do so from the State’s aviation regulator.

Aer Southeast stopped selling flights from Waterford Airport to Britain after the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) found it did not have a tour operator's licence, which the law requires.

The carrier began selling flights last Tuesday, June 20th, but stopped after the regulator intervened. It understood that a large number of people had bought tickets from Aer Southeast’s website.

The commission confirmed that it had told the airline to stop selling flights and sent it an application form for the permit.


“As yet, the CAR has not received an application from the company for a licence,” the regulator said.

In a statement Aer Southeast said “significant progress” has been made in resolving the issue. “We wish to firstly to thank all those who have already booked flights with us to the UK and assure them that their money is secure,” a spokesman said.

The airline was unable to say why it did not know that it was required to have a tour operator's licence in order to operate in the Republic. It is understood to have been planning the launch for some time and had registered its parent company, Skytruckers, in March.


Aer Southeast planned to begin flying from Waterford to Birmingham, Luton and Manchester from late next month. It announced its launch last week shortly before tickets went on sale.

The regulator’s role is protect consumers and ensure they are compensated if flights are cancelled or delayed for long periods. Irish and European Union law requires that an airline must have a tour operator’s licence and pass a financial fitness test before selling flights here.

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, Slovenia, it is entitled to operate in the Republic.

This means Slovenia's Civil Aviation Agency will be responsible for regulating Aer Southeast's safety and the airworthiness of its craft. The airline has not been in touch with the IAA.

Aer Southeast’s spokesman said it wanted to assure those who had bought tickets that it would do everything possible to ensure that its flights would begin as planned.

Skytruckers is backed by Irish and Scandinavian investors and led by Einar Adalsteinsson, a Danish national who has worked in various aviation jobs.

He says he is a director of the technical management division of aircraft and helicopter leasing specialist, ABL Aviation and is on the board of another airline, Backbone Aviation.

Waterford Airport lost its previous commercial service when Belgian airline VLM ceased operating last year. Aer Arann and then Flybe offered UK flights from there in the past.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas