Photo: Andreas Spaeth

LONDON – Scottish carrier Loganair will resume its collaboration with British Airways subsidiary, BA Cityflyer, on the London City (LCY) – Isle of Man (IOM) route starting September 1, 2018.

This new agreement will replace the current collaboration that Cityflyer has in place with Eastern Airways operating the route.

Currently, Eastern Airways is leasing one of its Saab 2000s to BA Cityflyer for the operation of the route, which will come to an end on August 31.

Alternatively, one of Loganair’s four Saab 2000s will be leased to BA Cityflyer starting on September 1 to operate the service.

“We are very much looking forward to expanding our partnership with British Airways through this new arrangement to operate the Isle of Man’s flagship service to London City,” said Loganair’s Managing Director.

PHOTO: Airlines Inform

“I’m also pleased that Loganair will continue to support important jobs in the community through the local employment of pilots and cabin crew in the Isle of Man to fly the route.”

British Airways General Manager Luke Hayhoe added that the new lease agreement “will ensure customers in the Isle of Man have a punctual and reliable service to London City Airport on three daily services.”

Hayhoe added that these flights to LCY will connect to 31 destinations operated by British Airways from the Docklands Airport.

Loganair in the Red

Despite this announcement, Loganair recently reported a loss of £9 Million.

This is the first time the Scottish Airline has reported a loss in 20 years, which they partly blame on the costs associated with ending its franchise and tie up agreements with Flybe, which came to an end in August 2017.

Loganair—the oldest unchanged name in the British air industry brandishes its name alone and Jonathan Hinkles, who assumed the role of Loganair’s Managing Director just nine months before the new branding, could not be happier.

“We have a strong level of recognition in our core market in the highlands and islands,” Hinkles said in an interview with Airways at Loganair’s headquarters near Glasgow Airport (GLA).

“That will carry us through. The task is to establish that affinity where we are not so well known.”

Marketing themselves as a new independent airline through various marketing campaigns, as well as the rebranding of their fleet with a new tartan livery, also had a significant part in this financial loss.

Loganair took inspiration from the ‘Benyhone’, a Scottish tartan pattern that flew with British Airways 20 years ago during its short-lived World Images (Utopia) Tailfin livery program.

“We developed our tartan livery. It took a while, as it was needed
to be whiter between the lines. Then, it fitted,” Hinkles recalled.

Today, the Loganair tartan design even bears official registration. It’s number 11,744 in the Scottish Register of Tartans.

But the reason why Loganair is flying under its colors again for the first time in 25 years is less funny. “Flybe had unacceptable demands for extending the existing franchise agreement and asked for guarantees. We have instead offered them to continue flying in a code-sharing agreement, but they refused,” Hinkles said.

Flybe, for its part, said the breakup followed “a failure to agree [on] future operational standards and commercial arrangements,” the BBC reported.

Now, Flybe has teamed up with British regional Eastern Airways (T3)
on Scottish routes to compete with Loganair. “They picked five out of eight
of our strongest routes,” Hinkles said, “but with fewer frequencies, often
charging more, and with Jetstream 41s that we got rid of a long time ago.”

It’s not a great situation, the Managing Director said. “Markets here are not big enough for two competitors; they are mad at us. What Flybe does
is crazy and not sustainable,” he said.

Happily, for Loganair, it has picked up two-thirds of the bookings since both airlines began offering tickets on the same routes, in June.

But Flybe’s relationship with Eastern Airways didn’t last long. By the end of the first quarter of 2018, Flybe completely scrapped the agreement, leaving Loganair ahead in this head-to-head competition.

Even though Loganair has reported a loss, it’s future is bright, considering they beat Flybe in a head to head competition on routes with little demand.

This latest tie-up also emphasis their ambitions for the future and that they are an airline, that is determined to expand.

Loganair is also to receive their first Jet aircraft since 1990, as two BMI regional Embraer 145s are transferred to the Scottish Airline.