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Just two flights out of Sumburgh

AS THE Scottish air space is due to be opened again on Tuesday, air travel in and out of Shetland will continue to be severely disrupted with just two Loganair survives in and out of Sumburgh.

The other seven Loganair services between Sumburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Kirkwall, scheduled for weekdays, will not operate.

The airline said this afternoon (Monday) that due to the long period of disruption it was impossible to re-commence with a full service due to “aircraft and crew disposition”.

Loganair hopes to operate 78 of its 102 scheduled flights across Scotland on Tuesday.

The only services operating at Sumburgh are the 15.20 between Aberdeen and Sumburgh (BE6778), the 17.05 between Sumburgh and Aberdeen (BE6779), the 18.35 between Aberdeen and Sumburgh (BE6780) and the 20.10 between Sumburgh and Aberdeen (BE6781).

Loganair’s commercial director Jonathan Hinkles said: “Met and atmospheric forecasts for Tuesday, 20 April have now been reviewed and indicate that the volcanic ash cloud is moving away to the south and east, progressively leaving areas of Scottish airspace clear of restrictions as the day passes.

“On this basis, and subject to final clearance from NATS later today, it is Loganair’s intention to resume operation of a significant number of services.”

The flights cancelled are BE6770, BE6771, BE6772, BE6773, BE6992, BE6993, BE6996, BE6997, BE6912, BE6917, BE6910, BE6911, BE6918 and BE6918.

Mr Hinkles said: “These flights will not operate and passengers who are booked on these services have four options:

To re-book for travel within the next 28 days on any available service at no charge;

To re-book outside the 28 day window upon payment of any difference in fare between the original and revised journey;

To obtain a full refund for any part(s) of the journey not taken;

To retain the booking and use the payment made as a credit against future journeys with Loganair and Flybe within the next 12 months.

“Customers wishing to re-book or make new bookings on those flights which are operating are asked to call the Flybe customer call centre on 0871 700 2000 or call the Loganair Air Discount Scheme (ADS) reservations helpline on 0844 800 2855.

“We would like to ask all customers who hold reservations on flights over the next two days but who no longer intend to use them – for example, having decided not to travel or made alternative arrangements – to help their fellow travellers by calling us on one of these numbers to advise that they will not be using their seat.

“We can subsequently release that seat for use by another passenger who may wish to travel, or indeed who may need to travel for urgent reasons.

“Flights remain entirely subject to satisfactory weather and atmospheric conditions prevailing throughout the day to enable us to safely operate these services. We will do everything that we can to ensure that these flights operate as published, but continue to ask for customers’ understanding if any flight delays or cancellations become necessary due to further changes in the location or intensity of the volcanic ash.

“It is our intention to restore as close to a full schedule as we can over the coming days, bearing in mind the significant logistical challenges that we now face after the enforced cancellation of services since Thursday.”

Meanwhile, ferry operator NorthLink said that the company had no immediate plans to lay

on another additional sailing

The company said it was in regular contact with the Scottish government which is coordinating the response to the air travel situation.

NorthLink currently operates just the ferry Hrossey on the northern isles route with her sister vessel Hjaltland still in drydock in Birkenhead.

Work on the Hjaltland is scheduled to be completed by late Friday afternoon. Thereafter she will have to sail north before taking up her schedule again.