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Business / Government loan scheme gives Loganair hope

Photo: Ronnie Robertson

LOGANAIR remains confident that it will be able to survive the ongoing Covid-19 crisis which has effectively closed down the country’s aviation industry.

The airline continues to provide a number of skeleton air services to Scotland’s island communities as well as chartered and freight flights.

Monday’s announcement that the UK government’s coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme (CLBILS) is now open for applications will bring a glimmer of hope to the company’s management. 

Until now the regional carrier, which had just taken over a number of routes from bankrupt airline Flybe, had not been able to apply to any government sponsored help.

Too small to qualify for the Covid corporate financing facility (CCFF) and too large for being eligible for the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme, Loganair was one of many medium sized companies that found itself trapped in the middle.

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles. Photo: Shetland News

Under the CLBILS scheme, companies have access to additional loans that will be guaranteed up to 80 per cent by the government.

The scheme allows lenders to support businesses that were viable before the coronavirus outbreak, the government said.

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “Work is ongoing with all stakeholders to ensure that Loganair continues to provide the lifeline services and essential UK regional connectivity upon which so many communities and customers depend – connectivity that it is providing even today through the Covid-19 pandemic at a time when many other airlines have shut down completely.

“It is not appropriate to provide a running update on the discussions, yet we remain very confident that Loganair’s future prospects are the strongest of any UK regional airline.”

Loganair has already introduced a 20 per cent pay cut as well as reductions in pension contributions for its 840 employees in a bid to protect jobs during these unprecedented times.