SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has today welcomed the announcement that Loganair plan to reinstate Friday Stornoway-Benbecula afternoon flights from the end of next month onwards.

The service will resume on October 21st. The previous five day service was cut back in 2013 after Western Isles’ councillors voted to reduce the subsidy provided for the flights and to axe the Barra-Benbecula service.

Alasdair Allan commented: “I warmly welcome the fact that islanders will once again be able to travel between Benbecula and Stornoway on Friday afternoons. It’s been more than three years since the service was cut back to three days a week and I am glad that is, at last, beginning to be reversed. The present arrangement leaves hospital patients travelling for appointments vulnerable to being stranded over the weekend.

“The community have campaigned hard for this service to be resumed, and will I know campaign to get back to the five day a week service we had before.

“The concerns of many people in Barra and the deep unhappiness that exists in the community over the withdrawal of the Barra-Benbecula service also need to be taken into account. When Islands Minister Humza Yousaf visited recently, I reflected it was a simpler task for him as an MSP based in Glasgow to visit Barra than it was for me as an MSP living in Lewis."

He added: "With constantly improving transport connections to and from the isles we need to ensure inter-island connectivity is not left behind.”