SCOTTISH airline Loganair is introducing larger aircraft to cope with increased demand for its Shetland service.
The airline’s 33-seat Saab 340 planes are being replaced with three larger Saab 2000 aircraft capable of carrying up to 50 passengers.
Chief operating officer Phil Preston told Shetland’s external transport forum on Wednesday that the new twin prop aircraft would be introduced during spring and summer next year increasing capacity by 51 per cent.
“Last month passenger numbers from Shetland increased from 13,000 to 15,000 and Loganair has reacted positively to this increase in demand by taking the decision to introduce these larger aircraft,” he said.
“As with our current fleet, the Saab 2000 was chosen because of its impressive crosswind capability and its excellent performance from shorter airfields.
“It is the ideal aircraft and is extremely capable in terms of operating in the challenging conditions often encountered in areas such as Shetland.”
The aircraft will be based at Aberdeen airport and operated by two flight and one cabin crew.
Preston said that the airline was currently in the process of examining how best to introduce the new aircraft the existing schedules.
Meanwhile, Sumburgh has had another record-breaking month in August when 23,427 passengers passed through the airport, an increase of 28 per cent on the same month last year.
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