Loganair adds larger planes to fleet

5 comments, , by , in News

Three new 50-seat planes will be added to the Loganair fleet early next year in response to passenger demand.

The Saab 2000 aircraft, which are larger than the planes already in operation, will be based in Aberdeen but will fly primarily on the Shetland route.

With 50 seats, the new aircraft will offer 51 per cent more capacity than the 33-seat Saab 340s. Loganair says they will also be more comfortable, with greater seat width, greater noise suppression and increased crosswinds limits.

Chief operating officer Phil Preston said the Shetland route had showed particular growth, with 13,000 scheduled passengers in August last year and 15,000 in the same period this year, some of this due to oil and gas work.

He said that acquiring the new planes, which will work alongside the Saab 340s, was a “big decision”. The added capacity would add reliablity to the route, he said, and possibly could even mean cheaper fares.

The Saab 2000 had been chosen for its excellent performance on smaller airfields. Mr Preston said: “It is the ideal aircraft and is extremely capable in terms of operation in the challenging conditions often encountered in areas such as Shetland.”

Loganair chief executive Stewart Adams said: “It’s a huge commitment of cash and logistically to add these new aircraft to the fleet.” The three planes would be permanent additions, and several months would be needed to prepare for their arrival, with pilot and engineer training and organising spare parts. No definite date has been given, but the planes will start flying in the first half of the year.

In other developments, flights to Glasgow on Monday and Friday which will offer good connections to London will start in November, and the fifth weekday rotation between Aberdeen and Sumburgh will continue beyond January.

To add flexibility to the service, a bus service from Edinburgh Airport to the bus station in Glasgow will be introduced.

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About Rosalind Griffiths

I am a Shetland Times reporter covering news, including health stories, and features. I have been in Shetland for more than 30 years.

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5 comments

  1. Iain Adam

    Would that be spare parts for the pilots – after their training they may indeed require some.

    Reply
  2. Bill Adams

    All credit to Loganair for managing to secure these 3 aircraft as they would have been neither easy nor cheap to acquire.
    Although some 450 Saab340s were built , only about 60 Saab2000s were produced before airlines – especially in the US – began opting for all-jet fleets.
    As a result these planes are very much in demand, not just with airlines but also with businesses looking to convert them into executive VIP transports.
    Of course Eastern Airways have been using their Saab2000s on the Aberdeen – Scatsta service since December 2008 .

    Reply
  3. Iain Adam

    I would have gone for the Bombardier CRJ or the Embraer rather than the Saab 2000- (now out of production) they would provide better performance and passenger comfort for the same price.

    Reply
  4. Bill Adams

    As a turboprop the Saab 2000 is a more fuel-efficient aircraft than jets such as the
    Bombardier CRJ or Embraer series hence lower operating costs .
    You also have to take into account the fact that the runway lengths available at Sumburgh are relatively short and we are therefore limited to being served by aircraft with good short-field performance . A possible 50-seat alternative to the Saab would have been the Bombardier Dash8-300 turboprop .

    Reply
  5. Christopher Knuttton

    I believe it has probably been a very difficult decision for Loganair to take as the aircraft will need to fly to more than just Sumburgh, especially in crosswinds. They would of spoken to a number of Colleges like FlyBe who have the Dash 8 400 (and used to own Dash 8 300) and BMI Regional who own Embraer Regional Jets.

    Reply

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