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Progress on punctuality

Loganair is to rebrand when it parts company with Flybe at the end of next summer.

LOGANAIR continues to make “strong progress” in improving its reliability, according to operations director Maurice Boyle, with just one cancellation and one significantly delayed flight in Shetland throughout October and November.

Boyle told Monday afternoon’s meeting of the Shetland external transport forum that reliability figures had been consistently above 85 per cent since August.

It is a marked improvement on the airline’s performance in 2015 and the early part of this year, with the recruitment of more engineers and the introduction of a spare parts hub among the changes that have led to a more dependable service.

Loganair recently announced that it was parting ways with franchise operator Flybe and going it alone for the first time in 24 years.

Boyle said the airline was in talks with AVIOS about continuing its reward scheme, and had increased the number of flights between now and August on which people can redeem AVIOS points.

He said the split (an “amicable divorce”) from Flybe would have “no impact on fares”, with Loganair putting plans in place to ensure a “seamless transition” and investing in new selling and reservation systems.

Loganair is still hopeful of finding away to continue code-sharing with Flybe for onward travel, as well as talking to other airlines about new arrangements “to make sure our customers can enjoy seamless travel beyond our gateways in Scotland”.

Talks with Flybe began in April 2015 about whether to continue the franchise arrangement, but Boyle said that “as time went on, negotiations became further apart rather than closer” with Flybe seeking to increase the franchise fee and “enforce some performance penalties that were higher than their own airline delivers”.

There has been a slight decline in passenger numbers travelling between Sumburgh and Scottish mainland airports in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness during the first 11 months of the year. Numbers travelling to and from Kirkwall rose significantly by 18 per cent.