The chief executive of airline Loganair has announced that he will be stepping down in April.
Stewart Adams joined the airline in January 2013 having previously worked with Singapore-based Tiger Airways.
Loganair chairman David Harrison said Mr Adams had overseen a “challenging period” and said a worldwide search was underway to find a successor.
Under the tenure of Mr Adams Loganair has come in for repeated criticism from customers in Shetland. The airline has been berated for the fares charged for short haul flights, while delays have been a regular occurrence.
Pilots also voiced concerns over safety and maintenance in October. The matter of safety was taken up Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael, while MSPs Tavish Scott and his Lib Dem colleague in Orkney, Liam McArthur, raised the issue of safety and reliability at Holyrood.
Loganair has made moves to improve the quality of its service, under the stewardship of Mr Adams,
After an increase in profits, announced earlier this month, the airline vowed to invest money back into the service in order to improve the customer experience.
The £15m investment programme included a £3.5m spend on a three-year programme of passenger upgrades for the Saab 340, the model which most often services the Sumburgh routes, with the aim of improving journey comfort and convenience.
Loganair also promised a £6m investment in a new spares hub at Glasgow Airport which will carry the most regularly-used parts – which it is hoped will allow for faster and more efficient servicing and repairs.
At the same time the airline also announced punctuality figures for all flights departing within 15 minutes of schedule sits at 77 per cent – above the UK industry average – and a target of 85 per cent has been set for 2016.
Despite these promises, campaigners were again angered when the airline disclosed plans to increase fares by 1.3 per cent.
Scott Preston, of the Islanders for Fair Air Fares campaing, told The Shetland Times that represented “a true kick in the teeth to both the campaign and the islanders who have consistently supported them through their most unreliable and unfavourable period to date”.
Now it seems the investment initiative and increase in fare prices will be among the last significant moves made by chief executive Stewart Adams.
Mr Harrison said: “Stewart has been an extremely hardworking chief executive and he has provided strong leadership since he joined us three years ago.
“He informed the board of his decision late last year and is scheduled to leave in April. We would like to thank him for his efforts during what has been a challenging period.
“His experience has proved to be a significant asset, particularly while we have been developing a major raft of initiatives to ensure our punctuality and customer service are soon back at the levels which our customers have rightly come to expect from us over many years.”
He added: “We have already begun to undertake a worldwide search to identify a new chief executive with the drive, skills and expertise to deliver on the commitments we have made to our customers and the communities we serve.
“We are hopeful that this process will be completed quickly and that we can conclude an effective handover in the spring.”
Of his exit from the company Mr Adams said: “It has been a great privilege to lead such an important organisation and its fantastic staff for the past three years.
“For personal reasons the time is now right for me to step down and I am confident that the strong foundations which have been laid will help enable the new chief executive to continue the company’s expansion and growth.”
Company representatives declined the opportunity to add any further comment.