Transport / Loganair bookings continue to rise as Saab replacement programme nears conclusion

A Loganair flight preparing to take off from Sumburgh Airport. Photo: Shetland News

BOOKING numbers on Loganair’s Sumburgh routes at the start of June were up 11 per cent compared to the same point the previous year as the airline continues to recover from the Covid pandemic.

The only route down on bookings was Sumburgh-Glasgow, by six per cent – but this is said to be because it still has a smaller Saab plane on the service.

But the newer ATR planes running other Shetland routes are due to be introduced on the Glasgow service in July.

This will complete the replacement of the older Saabs on all Sumburgh flights.

Whilst training continues for staff on ATRs Swedish airline Braathens Regional is expected to continue flying some services to and from Sumburgh until August.

Construction traffic related to the Viking Energy wind farm construction is now tapering off, with charter flights now replaced by scheduled service bookings.

The updates were given by Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles at a meeting of the Shetland external transport forum on Tuesday.


There were only a couple of questions put to him at the meeting, including one from Councillor Liz Peterson on the subject of compensation for passengers.

She said there were reports of some people waiting a long time for compensation.

Across the aviation industry people can claim compensation for non-weather delays of more than three hours, and certain cancellations.

But Hinkles said people with valid claims were being dealt with timeously – and those reporting longer waits were likely to not have valid claims.

He said claims resolved recently were for people who travelled in May, and this included paying for some passengers’ additional expenses.

Hinkles added: “That’s better than you will get anywhere across this industry.”

The meeting also heard that between March and May there were eight “operator cancellations” made by Loganair on Shetland flights out of 1,097 services.

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However there were 38 weather cancellations during the period.

A presentation given to forum members said there has been a “material improvement in performance and consistency”.

Hinkles also told the meeting that for summer 2024 there may be a larger ATR aircraft on Edinburgh flights and a third flight per week on Sumburgh-Dundee-Heathrow.

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