Airline Flybe has pledged not to abandon Lewis despite pulling out of Shetland after
a short-lived fares war.
The plane company is quitting Sumburgh Airport services in three weeks handing back
an effective monopoly to Loganair on the Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh links.
Islanders using their air discount saw fares diving to under £40 on the Stornoway
- Glasgow route when the aviation carrier joined forces with Eastern Airways to compete
head-to-head with Loganair on its traditional routes in September.
Seat prices would rise significantly if Flybe withdraws from Stornoway in line to
what is happening Shetland where Loganair is seeking to recoup the losses it says
it incurred in the bitter fares battle. The Paisley firm says the competition drove
fares “down to unsustainable levels and caused heavy losses for both airlines.”
Flybe is now focusing on the Stornoway - Glasgow route as well as its Orkney service
where they use a different type of plane and schedule compared to Shetland.
Flybe’s Scotland’s manager David Paterson is “very confident” of operating at Stornoway
for the long term.
In Shetland they had “lost the confidence“ of travellers over late and cancelled
flights and opted to “pull out sooner rather than latter” as the Embraer 170 jet
“was not giving us the reliability we wanted.”
Flybe operates the Stornoway route with Eastern Airways
Flybe commits to Stornoway route despite axing Shetland services