The present contribution reviews current knowledge of apparently oxygen-dependent ion transport in erythrocytes and presents modern hypotheses on their regulatory mechanisms and physiological roles. In addition to molecular oxygen as such, reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, regional variations of cellular ATP and hydrogen sulphide may play a role in the regulation of transport, provided that they are affected by oxygen tension. It appears that the transporter molecules themselves do not have direct oxygen sensors. Thus, the oxygen level must be sensed elsewhere, and the effect transduced to the transporter. The possible pathways involved in the regulation of transport, including haemoglobin as a sensor, and phosphorylation/dephosphorylation reactions both in the transporter and its upstream effectors, are discussed.