Comhairle concerned about air fares

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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is hoping to work closely in regards to air fares and other aspect of Island air services following the announcement their competitor Flybe is withdrawing flights between Stornoway and Glasgow from March 4th.

Councillor Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said: “It does not come as a surprise that Flybe have announced that they are withdrawing from the Stornoway – Glasgow route with effect from the beginning of March.

“Whilst the Comhairle cautiously welcomed the introduction of their service in June 2017 and the level of competition amongst the airlines since then, we remained concerned that the level of total capacity on the route was not consistent with the additional demand generated, affected by fare levels and the choice in timetables.”

He added: “We will obviously seek to now work closely with Loganair to ensure that the levels of service and affordability of fares on the route are, as much as possible, maintained to the current levels.”

A major area of interest for the Comhairle is the airline’s plans for the replacement of their fleet over the next 5-10 years and they are seeking clarification on how the Flybe announcement may impact Loganair’s plans going forward.

Mr Robertson continued: “The Comhairle does however welcome the further announcement of what appears to be significant improvements to the air service between Stornoway and Aberdeen.

“We, along with colleagues in HIE and with a number of private individuals, have campaigned for very a long time to have a service in place that would improve connectivity between Stornoway and Aberdeen, including the availability of a service that better met the needs of island-based residents working in and out of Aberdeen in the oil and gas sector.

“We cautiously welcome this announcement and will seek to work with the airline in ensuring the viability of the route and the services provided by them.”