Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) confirmed on July 14 that it would fly between Dublin Int'l and Kerry, taking up an Irish domestic service previously run by defunct Aer Lingus Regional operator Stobart Air (RE, Dublin Int'l). On the same day, the Ryanair website began to show seats for sale on the route, starting from July 28.

Stobart’s collapse last month prompted the government to seek bids from airlines to operate services on a public service obligation (PSO) basis between Dublin and both Kerry and Donegal.

However, last week Ryanair jumped in to say it would operate the Kerry route on a commercial basis, saving taxpayers’ money, initially 1x daily and rising to 2x daily from September 1.

That prompted the government to announce that Ryanair would take over the route on a commercial basis from July 19, but Ryanair issued a counter-release alleging that no agreement had yet been concluded. The carrier claimed the statement from Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan had been issued without it being consulted, calling it “premature and inaccurate.”

On the morning on July 14, though, the airline confirmed it would provide a commercial, unsubsidised schedule for Dublin-Kerry starting on July 28, using one of its B737-800s. That would ultimately quadruple the number of available seats on the service to 5,000 a week, it added.

Nevertheless, Ryanair DAC CEO Eddie Wilson cautioned that costs must be lowered at Dublin and Kerry airports to make it commercially viable.

Ryanair already operates international flights from Kerry to London Luton (3x weekly), London Stansted, Manchester Int'l, and Alicante (2x weekly each), the ch-aviation schedules module shows.

Also on July 14, Wilson again criticised the Irish government and “Minister Ryan’s failure to take any action to promote air travel recovery [which] has led to Ireland being the most damaged aviation market in Europe as evidenced by this week’s Eurocontrol statistics. Other island nations like Malta and Cyprus have vastly outperformed Ireland.”