Scotland’s airline Loganair today (18 March) announced a further drop in the number of flights due to the increasing impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
With forward bookings continuing to fall dramatically, the airline has enacted an overall reduction of over half of its flying programme for April and May.
Loganair chief executive, Jonathan Hinkles, said:
“The coronavirus situation has worsened materially in the last four days, and we have now seen forward bookings fall by around 75 per cent versus their usual levels.
“From the end of next week, we will be implementing an emergency timetable, which will reduce our operations from around 214 to 95 scheduled flights each weekday – a cut of 55 per cent.
“We expect this to be a temporary reduction and we are implementing this until the end of May but may have to extend that timescale as the situation continues to develop.
“Customers booked on flights up to the end of May can change their reservation without a change fee to travel on a future date. However, if future flights are more expensive, the difference in fare will be payable. Where services are completely suspended a full refund will be applicable.
“I would strongly advise our affected customers to manage their booking through our website as we are experiencing exceptionally high call volumes into our call centre.”
“Importantly, we will maintain lifeline services to the island communities we serve but will be forced to do so with reduced frequency.”
“The situation is incredibly serious and alongside the obvious health and safety implications, puts the future of the entire aviation industry in jeopardy. With this in mind, we have joined with other UK carriers to seek emergency measures from the Government to support all airlines in the sector.”
Hinkles revealed that Loganair staff have been asked to consider a series of measures aimed at protecting employment levels, including reducing working hours by 20 per cent and accepting a 20 per cent reduction in salary as a result or taking a period of unpaid leave.
He said: “We are working hard to avoid redundancies and lay-offs as have already been seen at major international airlines and as are likely to follow at several UK airlines in the coming days.”
He also advised that the recently announced plan to recruit former Flybe team members would continue, but with a delay to start dates of employment.
The following gives details of the Loganair flight reductions and route suspensions during April and May:
Highlands and Islands network
· Barra: No change.
· Benbecula: Two Glasgow flights per day shared with Stornoway on a circular basis.
· Campbeltown: Twice-daily Glasgow Saab 340 flights shared with Islay.
· Islay: Twice-daily Glasgow Saab 340 flights shared with Campbeltown.
· Kirkwall: Inter-isles services unaffected. Two daily Edinburgh services continuing to Shetland. Two daily services to/from Aberdeen. Glasgow and Inverness services suspended until 31 May.
· Stornoway: Two daily jet services to and from Glasgow shared with Benbecula. Two daily Saab 340 flights from Inverness. Edinburgh services suspended until 31 May.
· Sumburgh: Two daily services to/from Edinburgh via Kirkwall. Two daily services to/from Aberdeen. Glasgow and Inverness services suspended until 31 May. Launch of seasonal Bergen services delayed until mid-June.
· Tiree: No change.
· Wick: Services will cease on 27 March.
UK domestic routes
· Aberdeen-Birmingham: Reduced timetable of one to two flights per day
· Aberdeen-Manchester: Reduced timetable of two flights per day
· Aberdeen-Norwich: Reduced timetable of two flights per day
· Dundee-London City: Reduced timetable of one flight per day (evenings)
· Edinburgh-Cardiff: Shared service with Exeter
· Edinburgh-East Midlands: Reduced timetable of two flights per day
· Edinburgh-Exeter: Shared service with Cardiff
· Edinburgh-Norwich: Services suspended completely until 31 May
· Glasgow-Exeter: New route suspended until 31 May
· Glasgow-Southampton: Reduced timetable of two flights per day
· Inverness-Birmingham: New route suspended until 31 May
· Inverness-Manchester: Reduced timetable of two flights per day
· Newcastle-Aberdeen: Reduced timetable of two flights per day
· Newcastle-Southampton: Reduced timetable of one/two flights per day
· Newquay: Launch of services delayed from all points until 28 May.
· Flights to Dusseldorf, Esbjerg, Stavanger, Bergen and Haugesund all suspended due to movement controls
· Glasgow/Donegal, Inverness/Dublin, Carlisle/Dublin suspended from 23 March until 31 May.
For the latest coronavirus travel advice, visit gov.uk.