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Talks start on summer Faroe airlink

Shetland and Orkney conveners Sandy Cluness and Stephen Hagan flank Klaksvik mayor Gunva vid Keldu during the North Atlantic Island Summit in Faroe. Pic. Aktuelt

EFFORTS to restore transport links between the northern isles and Faroe are being reactivated after a North Atlantic Island Summit held in Torshavn.

Orkney Islands Council chief executive Albert Tait is writing to Loganair and Faroese Atlantic Airways on behalf of the three Scottish island councils to see if a summer service could be established.

Shetland Islands Council convener Sandy Cluness said that during the summit Faroe’s Smyril Line was asked to reconsider adding Lerwick to the timetable for the Norröna, which stopped visiting the port in 2006.

Mr Cluness said it was more likely that an air service to Faroe similar to the summertime Sumburgh – Bergen route could be set up, as Smyril Line is still losing money.

Atlantic Airways stopped flying to Shetland en route to Stansted in 2008 after the Scottish government refused them access to the air discount scheme, which the company blamed for creating unfair competition.

Mr Cluness said about the summit: “It is always a pleasure to meet up with our closest island neighbours to share ideas on how we can sustain our remote communities into the future.

“It is important that we have the opportunity to learn from each other and work more closely together on issues that affect us all.”

Discussions included fisheries, renewable energy and telecommunications, there was a visit to Faroe’s brand new school at Argjahamri and Orkney convener Stephen Hagan unveiled a memorial to the 20 Orcadian crewmen aboard the seal catcher Rachel that were killed off the isle of Svinoy on 27 November 1786.