Loganair is the UK’s largest regional airline, with destinations ranging from the infamous Beach Airport of Barra to operating the world’s shortest commercial flight, taking as little as 53 seconds from the Island of Westray to Papa-Westray in the Scottish Orkney Islands. In the Airline’s more than 60 years of existence, the airline carries over 2 million passengers annually and had its busiest summer ever in 2022. With question topics ranging from the industry’s challenges to the airline’s future, I put a few questions to the airline themselves
In December 2022, you decided to increase flights from Newcastle, connecting the city to new destinations such as Oslo via Aberdeen. Why was this decision made?
“Newcastle enjoyed a strong recovery last year, owing largely to the incredible shopping, leisure and cultural offerings available in the City, which were a major attraction following the lifting of Covid restrictions. The city is also strategically placed to connect passengers to further locations on Loganair’s diverse route network. Our bumper schedule for 2023 underlines our commitment to Newcastle with our biggest ever programme for the city, offering customers more choice of destinations, frequency and capacity than ever before.”
What do you see as the biggest challenge to the aviation industry?
“The industry faces a range of challenges and it’s not possible to distill this down into once single topic. We all face similar challenges to make the industry more environmentally friendly, for example, but the desire to deliver on this will vary across the world. It’s a priority for Loganair, and we’re well on our way to achieving our targets but there are other, legacy challenges, like diversity in the workplace, which remain high on the agenda. For UK operators, ever-increasing inflation, fuel prices and a cost-of-living crisis impacts businesses as much as customers – a challenge we’ve had to adapt to for almost a year now.”
How are you lessening the environmental impacts of Loganair’s aircraft?
“We have recently acquired a new fleet of ATR next-generation turboprops. They are the most efficient regional aircraft in the skies and are the most environmentally friendly aircraft, burning far less fuel than some of our outgoing smaller aircraft. We are a key partner in several future flight projects aiming to deliver more sustainable aviation, including in trials of zero emission battery electric and hydrogen fueled aircraft being carried out in Orkney at our Kirkwall base. We also have our GreenSkies environmental program, which invests in internationally accredited carbon offset schemes including reforestation and wind power. To help inspire and lead in the regions we serve we have additionally developed the GreenSkies Community Fund, which provides grants for community-based renewable energy projects. This can range from solar panels to small-scale wind farms or electric vehicle charging points.”
With domestic flights being damaged due to the UK’s ban on internal travel during the pandemic, when do you think Loganair will fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic?
“Loganair returned to profitability in the financial year to 31 March 2022 – the year in which the airline also celebrated its 60th anniversary. The business posted a profit before tax of £4.98 million on a turnover of £161 million. Our continued expansion and recovery of routes, as well as the ongoing fleet renewal underlines Loganair’s strong position in the sector.”
With Flybe going bust in 2020 and then being bought again but operating at a limited capacity, has this benefited Loganair?
“Flybe’s collapse marked a desperately sad day, especially for the airline’s dedicated team of employees and for customers who faced disruption to their journeys. However, by stepping in quickly with a comprehensive plan, Loganair maintained essential air connectivity in the UK regions by taking over 16 routes formerly flown by Flybe, adding nearly 400 new flights each week. We also offered new employment to former Flybe staff members who were facing an uncertain future, giving them the chance to continue their aviation careers with Loganair. Our actions enabled former Flybe customers to benefit from Loganair’s high standards of customer service and on-time performance on a range of new routes, with a strong emphasis on those to and from our Scottish heartlands.”
And Finally, what can we see in the near future for Loganair?
“Loganair will continue its sustainable expansion as the UK’s largest regional airline, delivering essential regional connectivity and being a constant for the regions it serves and the businesses it supports.”
Cover Image Credit: Pilot Career News