Loganair notes the statement made earlier today by Flybe concerning the withdrawal of its services to Shetland from 8 January 2018.
Following an approach by Flybe this week, we have agreed to assist Flybe by honouring its forward bookings on routes between Shetland, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow after 8 January 2018. Flybe will contact its customers directly and it will coordinate the re-booking of those who wish to travel with Loganair onto our nearest equivalent flights. This will be coordinated by Flybe and as we have no access to Flybe’s systems, we regret that we’re unable to assist with any customer re-booking queries at this time.
Commenting on the withdrawal, Loganair’s Managing Director Jonathan Hinkles said:
“Since competition was first announced on these routes six months and one day ago, we have consistently maintained that there was only room in the market for one airline. The support from the Shetland community for Loganair has been simply tremendous, and the community has resoundingly chosen to support Scotland’s Airline ahead of our competitor. It’s now up to us to ensure that we re-double our efforts to reward this trust placed in Loganair by providing the best range of reliable and affordable air services that we possibly can.”
“Loganair has amassed a wealth of experience in 50 years of serving Shetland ranges from our pilots’ understanding of conditions at Sumburgh to offering assurance of free booking changes during times of weather disruption such as today’s Storm Caroline. We’re proud of our record of service and we will continue to draw on all of this experience – and keep learning and listening – to ensure our service meets the needs of the islands.”
Loganair recognises that there will inevitably be questions about its future service and fares to Shetland. The airline remains wholly committed to serving Shetland and is now working on plans to ensure that it can reasonably meet demand whilst at the same time ensuring that fares remain affordable.
That said, extra Loganair services cannot and will not replace the huge volume of air seats provided during this period of competition, which has driven fares down to unsustainable levels and caused heavy losses for both airlines. In Loganair’s case, the support from the travelling public in Shetland has been matched by support from its shareholder to sustain those financial losses.
“Today’s announcement by our rival isn’t about a victory for Loganair, it’s about a victory for common sense. All of us at Loganair work hard to deliver excellent service every day for our customers, and we’ll continue that work to assure the Shetland community that Loganair isn’t just Scotland’s Airline, it’s also Shetland’s Airline. We look forward to sharing our future plans as soon as we can.”