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Transport / Loganair contract extended for another month

Scottish transport secretary also confirms support is being provided to NorthLink

A Loganair plane at Sumburgh. Photo: Shetland News

ESSENTIAL transport links between Shetland and the mainland are to continue on a limited timetable.

Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson said in Holyrood yesterday that the Scottish Government’s direct contract with Loganair would be extended till the end of May.

Restrictions on journeys to all but essential travel are also to remain in place.

Matheson said: “To maintain air connectivity, the Scottish Government has contracted Loganair to provide services between the mainland and key island destinations until the end of April.

“Feedback from islands authorities is that the services have been operating well during April, so I can announce today that I have asked Loganair to continue the flights until the end of May, which will be in addition to ferry operators continuing to maintain their essential services.”

He said that support was also being provided to NorthLink operator Serco and Orkney’s Pentland Ferries having discussed with them the financial implications of fewer passengers and a reduced timetable.

Matheson also said that the Scottish Government “moving early” to restrict travel on the ferries had been to protect the safety and security of islands.

He added: “Those services are available to passengers with an essential need to travel to and from the islands, including national health service patients, essential workers and people returning home.

“Importantly, the services are also being used to move essential supplies such as blood samples and cancer treatments, as well as mail items.”