LOGANAIR has abandoned plans to introduce a 15kg weight limit for baggage on flights when Flybe takes over the franchise for flights between Sumburgh and the UK mainland.
The new operator initially said it would impose the restriction when it takes over the service later this month, but following local concerns highlighted in The Shetland Times last week it has decided to begin with a 20kg limit for a trial period, just under the 23kg allowed by British Airways.
The 20kg limit – over and above which passengers will be charged a flat fee of £10 – brings Flybe’s flights into line with its standard luggage allowance for economy passengers.
There has also been concern about Flybe’s introduction of various surcharges, including an increase in the charge for booking by credit card from £4 to £6 per passenger, and the introduction of a £2 charge for booking by debit card, and a levy of £6 for reserving a seat on the flights.
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said it was promising that Loganair were starting to listen to people’s concerns.
He said: “I’m pleased Loganair will lift their baggage limit to help people in Shetland, that’s a step in the right direction. If they could now deal with the credit card and debit card surcharges, we would be really making some progress.”
Mr Scott, ZetTrans chairman Allan Wishart and their opposite numbers in Orkney are now looking to set up a meeting with Loganair to discuss a range of issues, including fares.
Meanwhile, the company has confirmed that it will again operate scheduled services between Sumburgh and Bergen in Norway in summer 2009. The two-day service, which Loganair said was used by 1,400 passengers in 2008, is to be expanded and will now operate on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from early June until the end of August next year. The flights can be booked through Flybe’s website.
Loganair chairman Scott Grier said: “We, of course, were aware of the important historical and cultural links between Shetland and Norway and we knew of the great disappointment that was felt when the Smyril ferry service between Shetland and Norway was discontinued last year, but the high demand for our air services exceeded our expectations.”