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Hebrides News


Morning delivery returns for daily newspapers

1 March 2017

However, the heavier weight of additional pages in papers on Saturday rules out using the plane and they will continue to be sent via ferry.


The airline’s chief executive, Jonathan Hinkles, agree to a trial run after councillors Donald Crichton and Roddie Mackay previously raised the issue.


Mr Hinkles told the council’s transport committee was confident it would evolve into a permanent service.


“We can’t do it on Saturdays” as the plane cannot “physically cannot carry that amount” he explained, as 2.4 tonnes of newsprint is designated for Stornoway that day.


On other days some six to eight passenger seats on the aircraft will be “blocked” to carry the papers, he added.


Papers will be carried out in the cargo hold but will also have to be spread out in the cabin so the “weight and balance of load “in the boot” remains within limits” and avoids the plane flying down by the tail.


Cllr Charlie Nicolson welcomed the development: “This is a good news story and will make a big difference to the town centre.”


Until 2013, newspaper publishers hired a freight aircraft to fly the dailies from Aberdeen to Stornoway early each morning.


Distribution committee, SNS, cancelled the air charter due to increased freight charges and falling newspaper sales.


Delivery was switched to the lunchtime ferry which delayed newspapers to the afternoon.


Customer trade at many small rural shops revolves around the arrival of newspapers.


It has also seriously impacted on the number of people coming into Stornoway town centre.


Many shoppers keep their morning routine but not return for the papers in the afternoon.


Numerous disrupted ferry sailings over the winter may result in days without newspapers.




Newspapers will be soon available in the morning in Stornoway again.


Loganair is launching a trial run of flying daily papers up from Glasgow on weekdays and Sunday.


From Monday to Friday the flight touches down in Stornoway airport around 8am.


The Sunday flight operates at lunchtime.


The test run commences at the beginning of April when a larger plane - the Saab 2000 - with a bigger cargo hold will be used on some flights.