Seeking assurance on flight reliability

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Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart recently met with Maurice Boyle, Loganair’s Director of Operations, to discuss concerns about their recent performance and to push for improvements in both fleet reliability and customer service.

Mr Stewart, who is Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson, met with the Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, about the situation last month and pressed Loganair for a meeting to discuss the catalogue of delays and emergency situations which have hit the airline over recent months.

In the week that Loganair announced a £7.2m annual profit for the 2015 year end, which is, in part, attributed to increased passenger numbers, David Stewart said: “They must now ensure that these passengers receive an increased level of customer satisfaction as a result but more than that we need to ensure confidence in the reliability of the fleet is restored.

“Day on day we are now hearing reports of delayed or cancelled flights due to issues with the fleet’s aircraft.

Mr Stewart continued: “I met with Maurice Boyle, the Director of Operations, and stressed the key importance of improved reliability to ensure better customer service and restore public confidence in the airline.

“We must see improvements in these lifeline services to our north and island communities.

Continuing, Mr Stewart said: “I also raised the latest incident of the delayed Dublin to Inverness flight on Hogmanay, which saw passengers experience 10 hour delays, and end up being taxied from Edinburgh to Inverness.

“This is totally unacceptable. Mr Boyle assured me he would investigate what happened with this and get back to me.

“He was confident that having spare aircraft on standby in Aberdeen and Glasgow, together with the parts department now being located in Glasgow, will result in an improved service.”

Mr Stewart further stated: “Loganair are tasked with providing these lifeline services throughout the north and Scottish Ministers must ensure that improvement in the engineering reliability is brought forward.

“I was given an assurance from the Transport Minister on behalf of Loganair last month that things would improve and I will hold him to this. Improvements must be introduced without any further delay.”