Waterford Airport's new UK service says it will start issuing refunds

Aer Southeast’s flights have been postponed after the airline ran into trouble with the aviation watchdog.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

WATERFORD AIRPORT’S NEW flights will not go ahead as planned after the airline operating the service ran into trouble with Ireland’s aviation watchdog.

Aer Southeast has said it will not be able to launch its UK services on 24 July after the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) told the carrier to stop taking bookings because it did not have the required licence to do so.

It is hoped the services from Waterford to London-Luton, Manchester and Birmingham will still go ahead later this year.

Chief executive Einar Adalsteinsson apologised to passengers and said customers who have already bought tickets will be fully reimbursed by the airline from today.

A spokesman for Aer Southeast declined to comment on how many passengers have been affected, citing commercial sensitivity.

Adalsteinsson said in a statement that the airline “remains fully committed” to operating the flights.

“We will work closely with CAR in the coming weeks to ensure that the correct licensing system is put in place,” he said. “Once we are in a position to recommence taking bookings, we will communicate with our customers immediately.”

Source: Aer Southeast IRL/Twitter

CAR trouble

As previously reported by Fora, the recently-founded airline announced last month that it was bringing the first commercial flights to the regional airport in a year.

However, shortly after it started taking bookings, state-backed agency CAR told it to stop selling tickets because it had not obtained the necessary tour operator licence.

CAR said it issued a letter to Aer Southeast to cease trading “as soon as the commission became aware that (the airline) intended to arrange and offer for sale a new service”.

The airline had been marketing fares, starting from €79, to the UK destinations since 19 June. It said the flights would be operated using a 34-seat Saab 340 turboprop aircraft.

When the services were first announced, a spokeswoman for Waterford Airport told Fora the airline would operate under a lease agreement with a European carrier that holds an Irish air operator certificate. The current issue relates only to the airline’s ability to sell tickets.

Aer Southeast’s parent company, Skytruckers Ltd, was founded just two months ago and lists Waterford Regional Airport as its address, according to documents filed with the companies registration office.

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