Loganair boss Jonathan Hinkles has pledged that Scotland’s island communities can rely on the airline to continue providing lifeline services despite being up for sale.
Speaking to the Financial Times, the Loganair chief executive said he had reassured Comhairle nan Eilean and other island stakeholders that it would be business as usual after the sale.
He pointed out that since the airline was set up in 1962, five ownership changes have occurred. Therefore, there was no expectation that the sixth change of hands would mean significant service changes.
In the interview, Hinkles said he had been asked at one consultation meeting what would happen if a new owner decided to pull out of the islands. His response had been, why would anyone buy the airline in the first place if they were disinterested in serving those markets?
Hinkles told the FT he was not directly involved in the sale process, which is managed by Arrowpoint Advisory and is expected to take several more months.
Since being put on the market in October, Hinkles said he had focused on ensuring the airline continues to operate efficiently.
So far, there have been no public expressions of interest by potential buyers.
Hinkles told the FT: “We have to be very, very clear-eyed that we’ve got to have an airline that’s trading well and is very well run. I have to be confident that someone will buy it.”
Earlier, Loganbair, now the UK’s largest regional airline, announced that business travellers across the UK are set to benefit from a new, discounted, and fully flexible airfare.
The airline has identified the routes that are most popular with its business travellers each year and has created a new flexible and cost-effective fare to support businesses with connectivity across the UK.
The new Business Connect fare allows customers to book a minimum of five flights in advance and receive a 15% discount, with full flexibility to change flight dates at any time. It means that passengers who often travel on selected routes could qualify and benefit from free airport fast-track security, an upgraded 23kg luggage allowance and Clan Points to redeem against future travel as part of Loganair’s loyalty programme.
The airline has gone a step further for businesses and has additionally launched a Business Connect + fare, allowing organisations to book a minimum of ten flights with the same benefits but also allowing for full name flexibility meaning anyone within the company can travel.
Identified as Loganair’s busiest business routes and eligible for the new fare are services between:
- Edinburgh - Southampton
- Glasgow - Southampton
- Aberdeen - Teesside
- Aberdeen - Manchester
- Aberdeen - Birmingham
Donna McHugh, Loganair’s Head of Revenue and Sales, said:“Business Connect really allows us to better target our smaller and medium-sized enterprises and offers them flexibility and discounted rates on select routes. We recognise that our business partners are looking for more flexibility in the way they book and often want to book several flights at the same time, too – this product allows them to do just that.”