– 50-seat aircraft will boost capacity on the busy Aberdeen-Sumburgh service by 40 per cent –
Flybe franchise partner Loganair today (Monday, April 14) introduced the first of three Saab 2000 aircraft to be added to the airline’s growing fleet in 2014.
The first aircraft, which has a 50-seat capacity compared to the current 34-seat Saab 340 model, took off on its inaugural commercial flight from Aberdeen at 3pm bound for Shetland’s Sumburgh Airport.
Loganair’s latest aircraft will serve the popular Aberdeen-Sumburgh route and will boost seat capacity by 40 per cent.
A further two Saab 2000s will be introduced this summer to be used across Loganair’s services, increasing overall seat capacity by more than 20 per cent.
To celebrate the launch of the first flight, Loganair Chief Executive Officer Stewart Adams presented the Saab 2000’s first paying passenger, Shetland-based GP Doctor Aileen Brown, with flowers and a voucher for complimentary return flights to celebrate the aircraft’s induction into service.
Mr Adams said: “The acquisition of the three Saab 2000s, now the biggest aircraft in our fleet, again underlines our commitment to improving the overall experience of our customers by ensuring increased demand for services between Aberdeen and Sumburgh continues to be met.
“Continued growth in our passenger numbers year on year demonstrates public confidence in the services we provide and the addition of the Saab 2000 aircraft underlines Loganair’s drive to keep Scotland connected.”
Loganair operates five weekday services between Aberdeen and Sumburgh and a further three on Saturdays and four on Sundays – a total of 64 flights a week.
The Scottish airline’s fleet now features 29 aircraft including the existing 14 Saab 340s, six Dornier 328s, two Twin Otters and two Britten Norman “Islanders”. The airline also operates two Saab 340 freight aircraft.
Carol Benzie, Managing Director of Aberdeen Airport, said: “We are pleased to see that Loganair are taking these steps to react to customer demand and delivering what their passengers need. The new aircraft will be used on a strong route that provides a vital service and we wish them well with their new acquisitions.”
Nigel Flaws, Sumburgh Airport Manager, said: “Loganair’s decision to boost capacity on the busy Sumburgh-Aberdeen route is good news for passengers, particularly for those working in the energy sector.
“The introduction of the larger Saab 2000 aircraft underlines Loganair’s confidence in the route, and comes at a time of significant growth for the airport. This new aircraft will be a welcome addition to the airport and will offer an enhanced service on this important route.”
Shetland Islands Councillor Allan Wishart, who chairs the SIC’s Environment and Transport Committee and ZetTrans, the Shetland Transport Partnership, said: “Shetland is experiencing a period of significant development across several sectors at the moment, and Loganair’s investment in larger aircraft for our lifeline air services is very welcome news indeed.”
Loganair’s winter schedule also went on sale this month and allows passengers to book in advance through to February 2015. To find out more visit www.flybe.com, www.flybe.com/ads and through all other sales channels, or call 0871 700 2000.