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Loganair has slammed a call made by Rhoda Grant MSP to designate the Glasgow-Benbecula route as a public service obligation (PSO).

 

The airline said it has provided commercial services on the Glasgow-Benbecula route since 2004 when it took over the route from British Airways.

 

Loganair’s managing director Jonathan Hinkles said:

“It’s ironic that Rhoda Grant’s call for a PSO comes the week before Loganair implements a series of timetable improvements on the Glasgow-Benbecula route as part of its summer timetable.

 

“It would appear from Ms Grant’s statement that, surprisingly, she was unaware of these initiatives.”

 

He added: “At the same time, the imposition of a PSO isn’t the solution to all perceived ills with air services to remote communities.

 

“You only need to ask the residents of Anglesey in Wales to see that. Since the introduction of a PSO there over a decade ago, they’ve seen four airlines go bankrupt and have experienced significant interruptions to services - and indeed several periods of weeks with no services at all - as successive new operators were found to take over the route to Cardiff.

 

“In contrast, Loganair has provided an uninterrupted service to Benbecula on a commercial basis for 14 years, and also stepped in at two days’ notice to secure the inter-isles PSO service between Stornoway and Benbecula five years ago when a previous operator ceased trading.

 

“We’re committed to our Benbecula routes, and the developments taking place from next week will further improve our Glasgow links for communities in the Uists.

“It should be clear to all that substituting the clear dependability of Loganair’s services for the lottery of the EU PSO structure which has failed other regions so badly in the recent past, is not in the best interests of the Benbecula community ”

 

Airline criticises MSP’s call over flights

21 March 2018