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Air service to resume this afternoon

FLIGHTS in and out of Sumburgh airport will resume this afternoon (Thursday) after the ‘no-fly’ zone over Shetland and Orkney has been lifted.

Loganair said this morning that their aircraft had also completed approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to operate in the “enhanced procedure zone” which will make the airline’s flight schedule less susceptible to disruption.

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The company’s commercial director Jonathan Hinkles said: “All flights scheduled to depart before 1pm today (Thursday, 22 April) remain cancelled.

“Thereafter, Loganair intends to resume flight operations from 1pm today and all flights scheduled to depart at or after this time will take place as planned with the exception of services to or from Stornoway, which is in a ‘no-fly zone’ imposed by the CAA and National Air Traffic Services (NATS).”

He added: “Loganair has now completed the required approvals with the CAA to be able to operate in the ‘enhanced procedures zone’, which is an area where volcanic ash is present, but at sufficiently low concentrations that it does not pose any risk to flight safety.

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“This new approval will enable services to resume throughout the bulk of the Loganair network and it means that our operations are now much less susceptible to disruption from low levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere.

“We are hopeful that it will allow us to restore a consistent and dependable level of air services throughout Scotland together with our routes to the Isle of Man and from Dundee to Birmingham and Belfast.

“However, it should be noted that there may still be disruptions if and when ‘no fly zones’ are declared by the CAA and NATS in which the concentration of volcanic ash has risen to higher levels – as was the case over Orkney, Shetland and Stornoway on Wednesday and remains the case for Stornoway on Thursday afternoon.

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“These ‘no-fly zones’ apply to all airlines and are not a matter for the exercise of discretion by Loganair. They are declared by the national authorities and may still periodically affect our flight operations if volcanic activity and prevailing winds result in higher levels of volcanic ash in the airspace through which our flights take place.”

For passenger reservations, the options available are:

1.     If your flight has been cancelled, people can:

*         Re-book free of charge for travel within the next 28 days subject to space being available on the aircraft;

*         Re-book for travel at any time at no charge provided that your original fare is available;

*         Obtain a full refund for any part(s) of the journey not taken.

2.     If people have already re-booked their journey but wish to bring their travel plans forward to an earlier date, they can rebook free of charge for travel within the next seven days subject to space being available on the aircraft.

3.     If people are booked to travel within the next 72 hours but need to change their travel plans, they can re-book free of charge for travel within the next seven days subject to space being available on the aircraft.

4.     If people have already requested a refund but now wish to fly within the next 28 days, Loganair will do all that they can to re-instate the booking subject to availability, providing the refund has not been processed.

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