Weather delays and a £6m hit for Loganair
This winter has been “incredibly challenging” for Loganair, according to the airline’s managing director.
Jonathan Hinkles made the comment at the Shetland external transport forum as he announced the figures for delayed flights between December 2017 and last month.
Almost a third of the airline’s Shetland flights set off at least 15 minutes late during December, a month which saw Storm Caroline bring winds gusting at over 100mph.
In January, 28.1 per cent of flights were delayed and in February the figure was 21.5 per cent.
However, when delays attributable to weather were taken out of the equation, the delay percentages were 18.8 per cent for December, 16 per cent for January and 11.7 per cent for February.
Mr Hinkles praised the good work of airport operator Hial and Loganair staff at Sumburgh Airport, whose efforts allowed the airport to perform better than elsewhere.
“Overall it was a pretty torrid period,” he said, adding that it proved to be a “learning experience”.
Turning towards the spring and summer, Mr Hinkles said a non-stop service to Bergen will run from 26th May, with flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
A non-stop service to Manchester will begin on 23rd June, with flights on Saturdays.
Mr Hinkles also made reference to his company’s short-lived competition with Flybe, which ended in January after just four months.
He said the period was “very, very damaging” and cost his firm over £6 million.
The other guest speakers at the event were Serco NorthLink managing director Stuart Garrett and Transport Scotland’s Graham Laidlaw.