UK regional airline Loganair has announced that it is working with the Scottish Ambulance Service this week.
The carrier has converted one of its Twin Otter aircraft to enable it to carry coronavirus-infected patients in Epishuttle isolation pods to support the NHS during this time of crisis.
The Loganair aircraft will be based at Glasgow airport but will be able to operate throughout Scotland, and will be ready to commence operation from Friday (4 April).
Loganair chief executive, Jonathan Hinkles, said:
“Even though it’s in circumstances we’d never have wished to see, I’m heartened that Loganair will be assisting the Scottish Ambulance Service from this week.
“I can confirm the Cabinet Secretary for Health’s statement that Loganair’s crews and one of our Twin Otter aircraft will be taking up front-line duties carrying covid-19 patients in Epishuttle isolation pods, supporting the NHS, and above all, the communities in Scotland whom it is our privilege to serve.
“The SAS and Loganair team effort to make this happen – from concept to delivery in a week – has been simply incredible and I’m proud of what everyone has been able to accomplish.
“We’ve difficult times ahead, but the teamwork to achieve this has been great.”
This week, Loganair announced that it would most likely be reaching out to the UK government for financial support in the coming days.
The airline is one of many that have had to dramatically reduce its flights in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
Hinkles said: “As a provider of lifeline air services, Loganair is unlike other many airlines in that we must continue to fly the lifeline routes on which our customers depend.
“It’s critical that we do so, and we believe we are well placed to be able to maintain those services throughout the current crisis. This position means we are unable to ‘suspend’ our operations and furlough all our employees as other airlines have.
“The covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous effect on all UK airlines. The Government has made it clear that it is open to specific requests for support from individual airlines and whilst Loganair has not yet taken up this invite as we explore all paths, with the unique position we find ourselves, we expect to join other UK airlines in doing so in the coming days.”