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Flying again

FLIGHTS in and out of Sumburgh airport resumed on Tuesday afternoon after the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud threw air travel into confusion.

Fixed wing and helicopter flights to the oil airport at Scatsta also resumed on Tuesday afternoon, while ferry company NorthLink handled extra passengers due to cancelled flights.

Loganair flights between Aberdeen and Sumburgh were back on service after 4pm, though delays were being experienced on all services. The island bound flight from Inverness via Kirkwall was also due in behind schedule on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile all services to Edinburgh and Glasgow remained out of action, with Wednesday morning’s flights to the two cities cancelled while the operators get staff and aircraft back to normal.

NorthLink reported extra business after air passengers booked passage despite the rough conditions that delayed Monday night’s sailing from Aberdeen to Lerwick by more than six hours.

Regular oil industry charter flights to and from Scatsta returned on Tuesday afternoon as empty helicopters flew out to the oil fields to bring workers off shift and return them to the mainland.

Shetland coastguard had to fly directly through the ash cloud at 4.20am on Tuesday when they responded to an alert picked up in Cornwall by Falmouth coastguard to rescue a lone yachtsman 25 miles north off Westray, in Orkney.

The Black Sheep was heading for Faroe when its autopilot broke in 50mph winds. The sailor turned back for land, but became exhausted and put out a distress call.

Shetland coastguard rescue helicopter SAR102 located the 25 foot yacht and contacted Kirkwall lifeboat who towed the vessel back to port.

When the chopper returned to Sumburgh it was taken out of service while the volcanic ash was cleaned from its engine and mainframe.

 

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