G R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher Offer
Thursday 25 July 2024
 13.4°C   SSE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Transport / Retiring pilot Watt at the helm for Loganair’s last flight with Saab 340 plane

Captain Eddie Watt in the cockpit. Photos: Loganair

LOGANAIR has bid a fond farewell to two stalwarts of the company – the Saab 340 plane and Shetland pilot Eddie Watt.

Watt, Loganair’s longest serving pilot, is retiring after joining the company in 1996.

The airline has also now retired its Saab 340 fleet after more than 24 years of service.

The last Saab 340 flights to Shetland took place at Sumburgh Airport earlier this week.

Loganair’s final flight using the plane – with Watt at the helm – flew from Kirkwall to Inverness earlier today (Thursday) before departing for its last swoop down into Glasgow Airport, following the path of the first ever Loganair Saab 340 flight.

Today also marked the 41st anniversary of the first Saab 340 flight worldwide.

Loganair said the plane was a “workhorse of the skies”.

Its 18 Saab 340s completed more than 430,000 flights, with both passengers and cargo, and carried in excess of eight million customers over their lifetime.

Flight LM340 touching down at Glasgow airport earlier today.

The Saab 340s have been replaced by Loganair’s new ATR turboprops aircraft, which are larger, quieter and more efficient, allowing Loganair to carry up to 45 per cent more customers on some routes.

The airline said the ATR fleet will also help to boost resilience as there is greater availability of pilots licensed to fly the aircraft.

Loganair said the retiring Watt is celebrating his 65th birthday on Friday, adding that he is “renowned among crews and customers for his commentaries from the cockpit”.

He was joined by his wife Rosemary who was among the passengers on board the last Saab 340 flight.

Watt said: “It is fitting for me that I retire with the aircraft that has been the staple of my career.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Piloting the Saab 340, I have watched all of Scotland pass underneath me and it’s been an incredible 34 years flying with this beloved aircraft.”

Loganair CEO Jonathan Hinkles said: “It really is a historic moment for Loganair. The Saab 340s have been essential to our operation of island services over the years, connecting remote communities with the mainland and delivering over eight million customers along with food, newspapers, pets and mail.

“As someone whose aviation journey was prompted by a strong passion for flying, I am personally very sad to see these aircraft go, but we look forward to introducing our new ATR fleet to our customers who will love the space and comfort they offer.

“Today we celebrate another special retirement with the departure of Captain Eddie Watt after 34 years of service. He has made a remarkable contribution to Loganair, and we wish him well on his next chapter.”


Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.