The Air Navigation and Transport Act 1936 provided for the incorporation of Aer Lingus Teoranta, a private company whose sole shareholder was the State. Provision was made for subsidies and loans.

The 1946 Act provided for the establishment of Aer Rianta, as a company owned by the State. The shares were issued to the Minister for Finance. Provision was made for loans and investment on the part of the State.

The functions of Aer Rianta included

  • the establishment of air routes,
  • the acquisition of shares of Aer Lingus Teoranta,
  • establishment of transport undertakings and aircraft maintenance, repair, and manufacture undertakings,
  • giving of financial assistance to air transport undertakings and aircraft maintenance, repair, and manufacture undertakings.

Under the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1946 the Minister may by order authorize, subject to conditions, various categories of air services within the State. The order may be subject to such conditions as may be provided. Authorizations may be revoked, or conditions may be modified. In particular, upon a breach or failure to comply with conditions, the authorization may be revoked.

The details of authorizations, form of application, information to be furnished, fees, are to be prescribed. Breach of the legislation are subject to conviction summarily or an indictment.

An air service must not be operated in from or over the territory of the State unless it is of a kind specified in accordance with Ministerial order or an authorization is in force and its conditions are complied with. In the case of services acting within the State, fares could formerly be fixed by Ministerial order. These provisions were substantially modified in 1986.

The Air Transport Act 1986 revised the regulations regarding rates and fares charged and the terms and conditions upon which services might be provided. The Minister (later transferred to the Regulator) by notice, while such notice remains in force, may require particulars of proposed airline transports tariffs to be furnished and approval applied for.  Permission is made for approval or modification of the tariffs as proposed.

In considering the tariff, the Minister must have regard to

  • the reasonable interest of other air carriers and users of the service,
  • necessity having regard to the public interest of the continuity range and frequency,
  • contribution to the tourist industry,
  • representations, objections made by third parties, and
  • international agreements.
  • These provisions were subsequently restricted.
  • The Minister was required to maintain a register of authorised air carriers to include
  • decisions given in relation to airline tariffs,
  • notices, and temporary directions under the legislation.

Provision was made for offences in respect of breach of the legislation by either the airline or intermediaries on its behalf.

The Aer Lingus Act 2004 repealed the earlier Air Companies Acts 1966, 1969,1976, 1978, 1983, and 1993 under which Aer Lingus had been constituted. The Act facilitated the holding, transfer, and disposal of shares in Aer Lingus plc by the Minister for Finance. The Minister for Finance was authorised to sell and dispose of his shares. This was done in due course and the state retained a 25% interest and certain strategic rights in the company.

After privatization, the Workers Participation (State Enterprise) right to participation in a directorship level ceased to apply to the company. Provision was made for the issue of employee shareholding. Provision was made for the establishment of a new superannuation scheme. The new schemes were to fix the conditions of retirement of all persons and the benefits etc under them.

The Air Navigation and Transport (Indemnities Act) 2005 amended the provision in respect of the provision of insurance by the Minister for Transport. Provision was made for the granting or renewal of an indemnity provided the carrier had sufficient insurance prior to the relevant state of difficulty. The Minister is not obliged to renew any indemnity or insurance.

Provisions could be made in relation to the terms of insurance and indemnity. An overall limit is based on Ministerial liability of €9 billion. The periods of indemnity were not to exceed 12 months.

Costs and charges at a level to be fixed were to be recovered in respect of granting of indemnity and insurance.  Provision was made for procedures for claiming on an indemnity.


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