Comhairle hopes Loganair will be able to better shape the future of air services

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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has reacted to the announcement by Loganair that, rather than operating under a franchise agreement with Flybe, it has decided to operate flights in its own right from September 2017.

Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Angus Campbell, Leader of the Comhairle, said: “Whilst we have only very recently been made aware of the proposed changes, we have been assured by the operator that this will put them on a better footing to provide improved air services for the Highlands and Islands and the Comhairle looks forward to being part of that development process.

“We recognise the investment and improvements made by Loganair to address the operational challenges, particularly with regard to reliability and punctuality, that the company faced in 2015 and look forward to building on what has become since then a very productive working relationship.

“There is no denying that there were significant service failings in the company at that time but we are assured that performance has improved.

“We have also previously expressed concerns about the nature of Loganair’s fleet and their significant reliance on the Saab 340 and Loganair have confirmed that options for the medium to longer terms (5-10 years) are being considered.

“We have already discussed this with them and expressed an aspiration for increased capacity through larger aircraft without a reduction in the frequency of services.

“We will continue to press for progress in this area and hope that Loganair as an independent operator will be better-placed to shape the future of air services in the region.”