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Transport / Faroe flights not something on Loganair’s agenda

A Loganair Saab 340 aircraft was involved in a near miss with an American jet in August last year.

OPERATING flights from Shetland to Faroe in the absence of the Norröna ferry calling at Lerwick is not something Loganair has looked at recently, according to its chief executive.

Jonathan Hinkles said one key issue around flying to Faroe’s Vagar Airport is that pilots need specific training.

It comes after Shetland Islands Council’s transport committee chairman Ryan Thomson said he was keen to see more air links to countries like Faroe.

Smyril Line ferry Norröna, which travels between Denmark and Faroe, used to stop off in Lerwick.

There have been repeated calls for the company – which the council has an investment in – to return to Lerwick, but a representative recently told BBC Radio Shetland it was not financially viable at this stage.

Thomson felt that sea was not the only way to link Shetland to Faroe and Scandinavia, with Loganair for instance already including Bergen in Norway in its summer schedule.

But Hinkles told Shetland News that adding further flights to countries like Faroe has not been on the agenda recently.

“Getting the historic link to Bergen back up and running for summer 2022 is the major step and given the typical forward planning timescales attached to new routes, it would be 2023 before we’d realistically be in a position to do something,” he said.

“The other constraint is that Vagar Airport in the Faroe Islands requires specific pilot training and there’s quite a long lead-time to achieve that to meet all of the safety and regulatory requirements to fly in there.”

Atlantic Airways currently runs flights between the UK and Faroe, including Edinburgh, but the airline did not respond to a request regarding its thoughts on connecting to Shetland.