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Loganair sets date to complete improvements

Loganair say their new engineering recruits will be fully trained and the Glasgow spares department fully equipped next year.

TROUBLED airline Loganair expects to have ironed out all its technical difficulties by the end of March next year, according to Scottish transport minister Derek Mackay.

The airline has been working hard to employ and train new engineering staff in order to tackle the frequent technical problems that have disrupted its service and frustrated passengers in recent months.

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It has also opened a new spare parts department at Glasgow airport to speed up repairs, though this will not be fully equipped until after the new year.

Speaking on BBC Radio Shetland, Mackay said Loganair had told him the entire improvement package would be complete within four months.

“The date they have given me for the engineering improvements and the spare parts, they should be fully operational by the end of March next year. That’s the date that’s been sent out in correspondence to me,” he said.

On Friday a Loganair spokesman elaborated: “The program of training for our engineers is well underway and progress is already starting to be seen across the network with additional courses planned over the coming months which will lead to further improvements.

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“The parts hub is operational but at a scaled back capacity while it is being fully stocked which is expected to be completed early in the New Year.”

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said he was surprised the improvements were taking so long to complete.

“I shall be disappointed if the whole thing won’t be available until the end of March,” he said.

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A cross party group of highlands and islands MSPs met with Mackay on Thursday to stress concerns about Loganair’s recent performance record.

Mackay told them he was keeping a close eye on the situation, but had been reassured by the Civil Aviation Authority that there were no safety concerns.

He said he thought Loganair’s “multi million pound” investment in its engineering operation was to be welcomed.

Meanwhile Scott and his Orkney Liberal Democrat colleague Liam McArthur are calling on the government to look into ways of assisting the airline modernise its fleet of ageing Saab aircraft.

“We want to see a ministerial working group involving Loganair, HIAL, the island authorities and Transport Scotland exploring ways we can provide them with newer aircraft,” he said.

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