Minister McEntee welcomes tender launch for Charter Flight Services to return individuals without permission to remain in Ireland

Please note the following information comes directly from a post shared by the Department of Justice on their website as published on


The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has welcomed the launch a procurement process for charter flight services for the purpose of deporting and returning individuals who no longer have permission to remain in the State.

Charter flights provide an alternative to commercial flights and can be more appropriate in circumstances when a group of individuals are being removed to the same destination. This will increase the options available to An Garda Síochána to effect removals and deportations.

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee said:

“I am committed to ensuring the State’s immigration processes are robust, effective, and fair. The capacity of deportation and return processes are essential elements of any immigration system.

With a major increase in the number of decisions issuing on International Protection cases it is now time to increase our capacity to remove people from the State whose applications have been refused and who do not have permission to remain in the State. A charter service will increase our options in this regard.

Providing access to charter flights will be a useful additional operational and enforcement resource for An Garda Síochána when the use of commercial carriers is not appropriate. Subject to the successful completion of the tender process and other relevant arrangements, I intend to see charter flights operational by the end of the year.”

A request for tender has been published on the e-Tenders website with a view to procuring a suitable provider of charter flight services and relevant supporting services such as ground support, catering and, when required medical assistance, for passengers.

Prospective service providers have until Wednesday 17th July 2024 to submit proposals, whereupon each proposal will be evaluated with a view to selecting a preferred partner.

Minister McEntee continued:

“Providing access to charter flights is just one of the measures I am introducing to support An Garda Síochána in their duties to enforce our immigration laws.

I have also provided specific funding for the Garda Airport Liaison Officer programme and, over the course of 2024 registration functions nationwide will be largely transferred to my Department.

Nationwide, over 100 Gardaí are assigned to immigration duties. Reducing administrative tasks and providing additional resources, releases valuable Garda hours to focus on operational and enforcement matters, such as deportations and investigations.”

The procurement process opened for applications today and is published on the government’s etenders platform:

Prospective service providers must be registered with the platform to view the call for tenders. The call for tenders reference ID is: 3795679.


Notes for Editors

• 860 deportation orders have been signed this year.

• Over 295 people have departed from the State under various mechanisms up to 17 June 2024 (i.e. forced return, voluntary return etc.).

• The number of enforced deportations has increased by 163% compared to the same period last year (50 enforced deportations to date in 2024 compared to 19 enforced by this time in 2023).

• Separately the Department of Justice provides assistance through a voluntary return programme to some who will benefit from some assistance to reintegrate in their home country. This is faster, easier and cheaper than forced deportations.

• The number of persons availing of voluntary returns has more than doubled compared in 2023, from 97 to 227. An increase of 134%.