Flybe announced today it is to scrap its franchise with Loganair.
Loganair will take to the air in its own right once again in Autumn 2017; after nearly a quarter of a century flying under franchise arrangements with other airlines.
“Today's announcement is a major milestone in the 54-year history of Loganair,” says Peter Simpson, Chief Executive of Airline Investments Ltd, Loganair's parent company.
“Although Loganair has flown as a franchise carrier for larger airlines over the last 24 years, there is still a huge level of recognition and affinity for the Loganair name throughout Scotland and beyond.
“We believe the time is right for Scotland's Airline to now spread its wings once again, and are delighted to be introducing a bold new corporate identity to accompany this important move.”
Employing over 600 people, Loganair operates a fleet of 28 aircraft and alongside its scheduled services, undertakes an extensive range of contract services for Royal Mail and oil and gas companies.
These will also carry the resurgent Loganair – Scotland's Airline identity.
The company has operated its services under franchise agreements with British Airways from 1993 to 2007, and latterly with Flybe from 2007.
The current franchise arrangement will end on August 31st, 2017, with reports stating Flybe citing 'a failure to agree future operational standards and commercial arrangements'.
Flybe executive chairman Simon Laffin said: “Scotland is very important to Flybe, and we want to ensure that we serve our customers there to the highest standards, whilst delivering a return to our shareholders.”
The transition between operators will take place on September 1st 2017.
Loganair will establish its own reservations system by March next year for flights on and after that date, via www.loganair.co.uk.
Summer 2017 flights will be bookable via www.flybe.com from this Wednesday, November 23rd.
Commenting on the announcement, Councillor Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said, “Whilst we have only very recently been made aware of the proposed changes, we have been assured by the operator that this will put them on a better footing to provide improved air services for the Highlands and Islands and the Comhairle looks forward to being part of that development process”.
“We recognise the investment and improvements made by Loganair to address the operational challenges, particularly with regard to reliability and punctuality, that the company faced in 2015 and look forward to building on what has become since then a very productive working relationship. There is no denying that there were significant service failings in the company at that time but we are assured that performance has improved”.
“We have also previously expressed concerns about the nature of Loganair’s fleet and their significant reliance on the Saab 340 and Loganair have confirmed that options for the medium to longer terms (5-10 years) are being considered. We have already discussed this with them and expressed an aspiration for increased capacity through larger aircraft without a reduction in the frequency of services. We will continue to press for progress in this area and hope that Loganair as an independent operator will be better-placed to shape the future of air services in the region”.
(This post has been updated with CnES comments since first being published.)