ClassicLover wrote:OA260 wrote:The Northern Ireland Executive and the British government's Department of Transport have agreed to continue to provide around £4m in funding for the crucial Derry to London service run by Loganair over the next two years.
http://www.derrynow.com/news/news/61456 ... years.html
This is all well and good - I'm always happy to see a PSO route continued.
A PSO route is ostensibly supposed to fund a route until such time as it can sustain itself. That is the whole point of them being put in place. What I do wonder about these routes in Ireland, so that would also include Kerry and Donegal, is this.
Are efforts being made at a local level to attract business to the areas within the catchment of those airports? The only way these airports will eventually have self-sustaining routes is if there is industry and business nearby who need to use the airport. Is this happening in places like Killarney and Tralee for Kerry? I've been to Donegal Airport and it's pretty rural all around there. Derry of course is a city but it's not a big one by any stretch, at least from what I could see - so are the NI Executive attracting business there?
If not, these PSO routes will always be PSO routes.
I think some PSO routes will either eventually be axed or always be PSO routes for political reasons. A few European countries have these and its just part of infrastructure with guaranteed funding.
LDY-LON is mostly political and one of those issues that get funding where in normal places it would be thrown out. NI politicians have a habit of being able to manipulate a situation to their advantage as we have seen with BFS - EWR heavily funded despite losses and money for bridges that are not needed and dead languages