Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed Loganair’s proposals when the airline ditches
the Flybe franchise and takes to the skies in its own right once again.
The company’ managing director, Jonathan Hinkles, met with the council this week.
He confirmed recent announcements such as flights from Stornoway to Manchester and
a campaign to have Air Passenger Duty abolished on flights to the Highlands and Islands.
Loganair is also developing new initiatives such as an improved on-line booking system,
increased communication with passengers in the event of delays or cancellations and
increased checking in times.
Soon passengers will have the ability to check in online without the need to print
a boarding card.
The airline is also doing away with ID checks at airport check-ins and boarding gates
for domestic flights from 1 September.
It is abolishing charges for credit card bookings and reducing the cost for advanced
Jonathan Hinkles gave a commitment to continue the weather disruption policy introduced
over the winter to offer passengers alternative flights if bad weather looks like
A trial will also start on 1 April this year to bring newspapers to Stornoway arriving
early morning Monday to Friday, a move very much welcomed by members of the Comhairle.
Mr Hinkles will also investigate whether a similar trial can be put in place for
Comhairle leader Angus Campbell said: “This was a very positive presentation that
highlighted a number of proposals planned by Loganair which should improve the customer
experience for air travellers to and from the Islands.”
Mr Campbell “”very much welcomes” the additional Glasgow-Barra flights in peak season
and larger aircraft on certain Glasgow-Benbecula flights.
The Comhairle supports Loganair’s campaign to remove Air Departure tax (previously
Air Passenger Duty) from routes to the Highlands and Islands from Edinburgh, Glasgow
and Aberdeen which would increase passengers through HIAL airports and keep tourism
spend in Scotland.
The council leader said: “Overall, these are very positive developments and I believe
there is great potential for further opportunities to work with Loganair.
“They have committed to introduce a Gaelic version booking website and the promotion
of island products such as Harris Tweed and island produce could all help to provide
an economic stimulus for the Islands.”