LONDON – UK regional carrier Loganair (LM) has announced flights to Birmingham and Newcastle from Aberdeen will be launched this week as the carrier begins to recover from the fallout of ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Services are due to depart this afternoon, offering a total of 10 weekly flights to start with.
Service to Birmingham will commence on a four times per week basis operating on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
In August, two additional flights in each direction will be added every weekday plus an additional Sunday service as well.
As for the Newcastle route, services will operate every weekday in the afternoon as well as on Sunday.
Like with the Birmingham route, the airline aims to bolster capacity offering a twice-daily service by the middle of next month.
For such Newcastle services, Southampton and Exeter will join alongside the North Eastern route as stop-overs for further country-based connectivity.
At the time, BE ceased its operation and entered administration after 40 years due to unsuccessful negotiations for rescue deal with the British Government and a failed takeover by Connect Airways.
Commenting on the service resumption was Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s CEO, who emphasised why these routes are vital to the UK.
“With many businesses turning their thoughts to restarting work after the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK’s regional air connectivity will be more important than ever.”
“For the sake of the recovery of the UK economy, we must enable key workers across the oil and gas, construction, service and healthcare sectors to travel swiftly, comfortably and safely throughout the country.”
With BE now bankrupt and no more, LM is Aberdeen Airport’s largest carrier, offering important air links to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland throughout the pandemic-based period.
The airline has also produced a program dubbed “Safe Steps to Healthy Flying”, which will involve a focus on customer safety whether this is through the use of face-masks to extensive aircraft cleaning and sanitation.
Loganair has also been maintaining such services from Aberdeen to Manchester and Norwich in order to transport essential workers from destination to destination.
Also commenting on the news was Derek Provan at AGS Airports, which currently runs Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, expressing hisp gratitude over the route restarts.
“Our Loganair colleagues have worked incredibly hard to maintain the country’s vital lifeline Highlands and Island services during the pandemic and their efforts should be commended.”
“We are working closely with many of our airline partners to assist them with their restart plans.”
“Aviation continues to face huge challenges, however, it is heartening to see signs of recovery, and AGS Airports Ltd stands ready to help get what is a resilient industry back on its feet.”
The routes will be particularly important for local UK business economy stimulation, especially with the British government aiming to get things back to normal in the wake of the pandemic.
In-all, it will certainly be interesting to see how LM will operate in a post-COVID recovery, especially after the fall of BE.
More pressure will be placed on the carrier however, especially with the likes of easyJet (U2) beginning to expand more of its foothold into the UK regional market.
For example, the orange carrier recently announced it would operate services to Aberdeen from Manchester with a larger aircraft than that of LM and with less weekly frequencies, potentially instigating a price war.
For now, LM has been able to come out of this crisis without falling flat on its feet, which does signify some level of positivism for its financials and beyond.