Aer Arann Islands (Connemara) has been sold by owner Pádraig Ó Céidigh for an undisclosed amount to Aer Nasc, a company which only became a limited company on January 2, and which is led by Galway pilot Jarlath Conneely, local radio station Midwest said.

The airline was spun off from its former parent Aer Arann after the latter was acquired by the Stobart Group from Ó Céidigh and later rebranded as Stobart Air. The operations of the two airlines, despite the name similarity, are now fully independent.

Documents filed with the Irish Companies Registration Office show Aer Nasc has indeed acquired Galway Aviation Services (GAS), which trades as Aer Arann Islands. The operator provides Public Service Obligation (PSO) flights from Connemara to the islands of Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer for visitors and islanders.

During the winter, the airline flies from Connemara to each of the three islands 19x weekly on its fleet of two BN-2s - EI-AYN (msn 704) and EI-CUW (msn 2293). In the peak summer month of August, this can rise to 53x weekly flights on the hop between Connemara and Inishmore.

According to its most recently filed accounts, GAS made a loss of EUR133,200 euro (USD148,000) in 2018 and the company’s retained profits were EUR1.5 million euro (USD1.67 million).

At the end of November, the Irish government agreed to purchase Connemara Airport, also owned by Ó Céidigh, to ensure the long-term availability of flights to the Aran Islands.