There’s been a 24% increase in the number of passengers on the Kerry Dublin air route over a three year period.
In 2014, there were more than 37,000 passengers on the subsidised service.
In 2015, that figure had risen to almost 44 and a half thousand while last year, the number of passengers who flew on the Kerry Dublin route had increased to more than 46 thousand.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, presented the figures for the rising number of passengers on the Kerry Dublin air route in response to a question by Fianna Fáil TD, Robert Troy.
The Kerry Dublin service is a public service obligation route which means it’s state subsidised.
Stobart Air has been operating the service since February 2015 and its contract expires at the end of January next year.
The EU requires that a review of a PSO route must be carried out subject to a new tender being put out for the continuance of the service.
Minister Ross says his department is aiming to conduct this review by the middle of this year.
He says subject to the outcome of the review, the tender process will begin in the second half of the year to ensure the continuity of services in 2018.
Last year, Stobart Air received 7.6 million euro in PSO payments for operating the Kerry/Dublin and Donegal/Dublin routes.