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Coronavirus / Loganair converts second plane into air ambulance for island Covid-19 patients

The RAF says it will still respond to requests from NHS Shetland

A Loganair Saab 340.

LOGANAIR has reconfigured one of its Saab 340 planes to allow it to act as an air ambulance for transporting Covid-19 patients from Scotland’s islands.

It follows the airline converting a smaller Twin Otter plane for the same purpose.

A spokesperson for the RAF, which has airlifted two Covid-19 related patients from Shetland in large Airbus planes since the outbreak began, said it will “continue to support the NHS” and will still respond to its requests.

Loganair’s converted Saab 340 will be available to carry patients from all island groups – including Shetland – to hospitals on the mainland from later on this week.

News of the airline’s intention to covert the Saab plane was revealed earlier this month.

“After some tremendous efforts by our team and those at the Civil Aviation Authority, we received official approval late on Friday for the new configuration to fly our Saab 340 aircraft as an air ambulance with Covid-19 patients, alongside our Twin Otter,” chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said.

“It’s not been an easy task – but when the going gets tough, the tough get going (as the song used to say!) – and they most definitely have.”

Much of Loganair’s fleet has been placed on standstill after it moved to a skeleton schedule running essential services.

Both the Saab 340 and the Twin Otter can carry Epishuttle isolation pods.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021