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Transport / Loganair apologises again for Thursday’s delays

LOGANAIR has again apologised to its customers who were unable to make hospital appointments or catch connecting flights on Thursday after both de-icing machines at Sumburgh airport developed faults.

The morning service to Aberdeen only left at 1pm, five and half hours late, while the passengers on the morning service to Edinburgh were rebooked on to the mid morning service that had meanwhile arrived from the Capital.

Loganair had told Shetland News that the morning departure to Aberdeen had been delayed by three hours, but some of our readers got in touch to point out that the delay had in fact been much longer.

On Friday, the company confirmed that not one but both of its de-icing machines developed faults.

“During the de-icing process, a fault occurred with the hose which delivers the fluid, rendering the machine unusable,” a company spokesman said.

“We then prepared to deploy a second vehicle, acknowledging a delay of 90 minutes for heating the fluid and essential testing.

“However, unfortunately this machine was also affected by a fault. Despite our best efforts, it took a considerable amount of time to rectify this issue involving three different  – extending the delay to a total of five hours and 25 minutes.

Procedure is usually to request a backup aircraft but, in this case, the issue with the second de-ice rig looked as if it could be repaired by the team onsite however it transpired the fault was more complex than first indicated.”

“The 0735 Aberdeen service eventually departed at 1pm after temperatures rose at the airport.”

The only planes affected by the de-icing equipment failure were the two night stoppers, the remaining services throughout the day operated to schedule.

“To prevent issues the following day an engineer was transported to Sumburgh and spent the remainder of the day undertaking an extensive programme of work to resolve the fault ahead of Friday’s departures,” the company said.

“We’d once again like to extend our apologies to the passengers affected by this ill-fated set of circumstances but highlight it was a highly unusual scenario to have faults with both de-icing rigs.”

In November, Loganair said it had invested heavily in de-icing equipment and training.

For aircrafts to operate safely in winter weather all snow and ice  needs to be removed from wings and flying controls before take-off.