Loganair boss pledges to continue improvements as flight punctuality increases
Improvements to Loganair’s Shetland service have increased punctuality to its best in three years, but the airline’s results show profitability has halved.
The Scottish company, which operates the service on behalf of Flybe, today revealed “sustained operational improvement” on its Shetland services, with a year-on-year increase in flights departing within 15 minutes of schedule every month since June.
The latest figures for October show 92 per cent of flights leaving within 15 minutes – recognised as the industry standard – compared to 78.6 per cent in 2015.
This means that the last three months have seen controllable punctuality, that is setting aside weather issues, at its highest level for three years.
This has coincided with the arrival of new managing director Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s former chief operating officer who returned in June after four years with Virgin Atlantic. Mr Hinkles believes that Loganair must return to being a completely customer-focused organisation.
Mr Hinkles said: “We’re pleased to say that we have made very significant progress to achieve the levels of punctuality and reliability that our customers, including those on Shetland, expect of us. This is a testament to the improvements and investments that have been made, and that we will continue to make, to reaffirm our reputation as Scotland’s Airline.”
Loganair also released its annual results today, reporting a pre-tax profit of £3.6m for the year ended March 31 2016 – down from £7.08m the previous year. There was a 2 per cent increase in turnover from £93.6m to £95.3m.
Chairman David Harrison said: “Reliability of our services fell below what our customers should rightly expect, but we have invested heavily in our engineering resource, and now have a full complement of appropriately trained staff in place.”
The decline in the oil price had a negative impact on Loganair’s North Sea charter work over the period, and affected both scheduled and charter passenger numbers through Aberdeen – although there are already signs that charter work may be back on an upward curve.
Elsewhere in the network demand held up in what is generally acknowledged as a difficult time for the aviation industry, and routes from Inverness to Manchester and Dublin were taken over from franchise partner Flybe.
The Scottish Government PSO contract for services from Glasgow to Campbeltown, Tiree and Barra was renewed, using new Twin Otters leased from the Scottish Government which had purchased them from the Canadian manufacturers.
Loganair continues to invest in expanding its Saab 2000 capacity, and in the ongoing £3.5m upgrading of its 13-strong Saab 340 fleet.