Flybe franchise partner Loganair today (Monday) introduced the first of 13 aircraft to be completely transformed as part of the airline’s £3.5 million renewal programme for its Saab 340 fleet.
Named The Spirit of Orkney in acknowledgment of the links between Loganair and one of the many island communities it has served during the last 54 years, the aircraft’s interior and exterior have been completely overhauled at a cost of almost £270,000.
The interior of the Saab 340 has been completely stripped out and renewed to provide enhanced comfort.
Improvements to the aircraft include:
The installation of new lightweight, ergonomically-designed modern seating to provide improved leg room
All interior panels have been recovered to help reduce vibration
Latest technology sound proofing has been fitted between the interior panels and aircraft structure to improve cabin acoustics
New LED lighting to enhance cabin ambience
New carpeting through the cabin
The final touch of the renewal project saw the aircraft painted in franchise partner Flybe’s new purple branding. It is the fourth Loganair-owned aircraft to feature Flybe’s distinctive exterior colour branding.
Loganair’s engineering crews also co-ordinated the renewal project to be completed in conjunction with the aircraft’s Heavy Maintenance Check (HMC).
The airline’s highly-skilled engineering crews carry out these checks on each aircraft in the Loganair fleet every 36 months.
The intensive process involves stripping back the aircraft to the basic airframe structure, which is then scrutinised using X-ray machines to ensure its integrity.
Both engines and the flight control surfaces are removed to give access to the aircraft’s structure and internal systems.
This enables parts to be checked, cleaned, lubricated and replaced, if required, before the aircraft is rebuilt and rigorously tested. In total, £350,000 is invested in each HMC carried out by Loganair.
Loganair chairman David Harrison said: “We are extremely pleased with the completion of this, the first of 13 Saab 340 aircraft to be upgraded as part of our renewal programme, and are grateful to Transport Minister Derek Mackay for taking the time to see the end result for himself.
“Our engineers and support teams put an incredible amount of time and effort into the project, and I’m certain our customers will appreciate their endeavour and enjoy the comfort benefits the renewal project brings to the Saab 340 fleet.”
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said: “I’m pleased to see Loganair investing in the fleet that serves our island communities. The upgrades they are making to their aircraft will improve the passenger experience, offering those on board greater comfort and convenience.
“Loganair has embarked on a significant programme of improvements, including engineering support, and is making significant investment in new planes and the existing fleet.
“This is another welcome step in that process and I hope passengers will start to see the benefit of this investment as soon as possible.”
Pictured is Transport Minister Derek Mackay with Loganair chairman David Harrison.