Aer Arann enters examinership
Regional airline Aer Arann has entered voluntary examinership after posting losses of some €18.5 million in the past two and a half years.
The company employs 320 people.
The petition to enter examinership was made by the company in the High Court this evening following a resolution by its board of directors.
Ms Justice Maureen Clarke appointed Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as interim examiner to Comhfhorbairt (Gaillimh) trading as Aer Arann.
The judge September 8th for a full hearing of the company’s application and in the meantime the airline is in interim examinership and under the protection of the court.
In a statement, the airline said it intended to operate normally during the period of examinership and that it would fly all Aer Arann services and all Aer Lingus Regional services operated under its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus.
"No flights have been cancelled or are planned to be cancelled and reservations can continue to be made on www.aerarann.com," it said.
"Aer Arann intends that there will be no impact on customer travel or bookings as a result of the move into examinership."
The company said that following the High Court hearing on September 8th, it expected to remain in examinership for an initial period of up to 70 days.
"During that time the company will benefit from the protection of the court from its creditors so that it can re-organise and re-structure the business."
It said that it and the examiner would also use the time to negotiate with potential investors and that "a number of parties" had expressed their interest in the airline.
"Examinership is a provision in Irish company law that is designed to help companies that have financial difficulties but that also have a reasonable prospect of survival and the High Court, the Independent Accountants and Aer Arann consider that the company has a viable business plan," Aer Arann said.
"The airline will operate as normal in order to preserve as many of the 320 jobs in the company as possible and the hundreds of associated jobs in airports and aviation support services companies."
Aer Lingus noted Aer Arann’s decision to make an application for the appointment of an examiner and said it welcomed the announcement that it intended to operate normally during the period of examinership.
"Aer Lingus would like to confirm that its franchise agreement with Aer Arann remains in place and notes that this agreement has proven beneficial for both companies," a statement said.
"Aer Lingus Regional flights, operated by Aer Arann, will continue to operate normally and customers who hold bookings on these flights need not be concerned as there will be no disruption in service.
Customers can continue to book these flights on aerlingus.com."