Loganair has announced a new one-stop Stornoway to Manchester service starting from next summer.

The airline has also announced a new timetable for Stornoway to Edinburgh services to ensure that the route remains commercially viable despite new charges for airlines being introduced by Edinburgh Airport in April 2017.

The new Loganair schedule includes new overseas summer flights between Scotland and Norway and the Faroe Islands, together with more flights and more seats on existing routes.

A non-stop twice-weekly service will link Glasgow and the Norwegian city of Bergen – known as “the gateway to the fjords”.  The Glasgow-based airline will operate the new route on Mondays and Fridays from May 5 to September 25 2017.   It’s part of a sizeable expansion which will also see the airline’s schedule to Bergen bolstered by extra flights from Shetland and new direct flights from Orkney.

Scotland’s Airline has also revealed the first regular service in recent years linking Shetland and Aberdeen with Vagar, the airport of the Faroe Islands, again starting in May.  The service will operate on Fridays and Sundays from May 26 to September 3 2017, and Loganair will carefully evaluate demand on the route with a view to moving to year-round operations in future.

Managing Director Jonathan Hinkles said: “It’s always a pleasure to introduce new routes, and our links to Bergen and the Faroe Islands are great news for both leisure and business travellers. I’m also certain that we’ll see Norwegian and Faroese visitors taking full advantage of the wide range of leisure and retail options on offer in Scotland.”

Hinkles continued: “Our summer schedule is a statement of intent as we announce our transition from the Flybe franchise arrangements to become an independent operator from 1 September 2017.   As Scotland’s Airline, Loganair is strengthening its network and adding more seats and more flights than ever before.”

The summer schedule, most of which begins on March 26 and for which tickets go on sale today, has a significant number of highlights, including:

· An overall growth of 20% in seat capacity to and from Glasgow.

· A fourth weekday flight between Glasgow and Manchester, plus a new Sunday lunchtime service - providing enhanced connections to domestic UK destinations and the expanding range of long-haul destinations available via Manchester.

· A fourth daily service between Inverness and Manchester, also opening up the wide range of connections available from Manchester.

· An 18% increase in seats between Glasgow and Stornoway through introduction of larger Saab 2000 50-seat aircraft on three of the four weekday round trips - and use of the larger aircraft on selected weekend flights between Glasgow and Benbecula for the first time.

· A third weekday flight from Glasgow to Islay, and a second on Sundays, opening up a wide range of new domestic and international connections to and from Islay.

· New convenient one-stop, same-plane services linking Manchester with Sumburgh and Stornoway, cutting journey times and offering lower fares than connecting flights.

· A second weekly Bergen service from Sumburgh, operating on Tuesdays between May 30 and August 29 and complementing the Saturday service (13May – 02 September)

· A non-stop service linking Kirkwall on Orkney with Bergen on Saturdays between May 13 and September 02 while also operating a complementary Tuesday connection via Sumburgh.

· Expansion of services between Edinburgh and Wick with the introduction of a second flight on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

· Additional weekend flights between Glasgow and Kirkwall - with a new Friday night southbound service from Kirkwall and an extra Sunday evening return flight, coupled to larger aircraft deployed on Saturday services.

·  More seats between Glasgow and Sumburgh through use of larger 50-seater Saab 2000 aircraft on one of two daily flights during the summer.

· Developing use of Glasgow as a hub airport to link Loganair’s Highlands & Islands network with its growing network of services to Manchester and Leeds Bradford.

· Continued expansion outside Scotland with the introduction of a new four-times weekly service linking Loganair’s base at Norwich with the Channel Island of Jersey.

Loganair summer services are now available to book at www.flybe.com for travel up to and including 30 September 2017.   

Services to the Faroe Islands will be on sale from 5 December 2016 and are subject to government approval.

 

THURSDAY: Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the expanded schedule of flights on Loganair services. The new schedule will see larger aircraft with increased capacity being used on Stornoway-Glasgow flights and new flights which will see a service from Stornoway to Manchester via Inverness or Glasgow.  Councillor John MacKay, Chair of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at the Comhairle, said: “We very much welcome the news this morning that Loganair are to expand their schedule of flights around Scotland and indeed to and from the islands. We have always maintained that there should be more capacity on flights and that these flights should be at times which are convenient for the travelling public. It is good to see that the views of our communities have been considered and factored into Loganair’s future plans and we look forward to continuing our productive working relationship in the years to come.”