Loganair ends franchise agreement with Flybe

Loganair is to “fly under its own wings” with news its franchise agreement with Flybe will end next year.

The long-standing Scottish airline will operate flights in its own right from September.

Loganair has been operating under franchise agreements with other airlines for more than 20 years.

The new Saab 2000 aircraft operated by Loganair/Flybe made its first landing at Sumburgh on Wednesday. The aircraft is currently undergoing trials and training before being brought into service on the Sumburgh route later this year. Photo: Ronnie Robertson
Loganair currently operates flights under a franchise agreement with Flybe. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

But today’s announcement follows a “failure to agree future operational standards and commercial arrangements” between Loganair and Flybe representatives.

The Glasgow-based company says its agreement with Flybe has worked satisfactorily since 2007. But theorganisation is keen to re-establish independent services under its own name.

Crucially, Loganair says independence will provide it with greater opportunity to work with a range of airlines to offer connecting flights beyond its own network of destinations.

The company plans to establish its own reservations system by March next year, which will take bookings for travel on and after 1st September. The air discount scheme (ADS) will continue to be made available on eligible routes.

Discussions with Flybe around the franchise agreement started last year, when Loganair’s reliability was coming under sharp focus.

Loganair says the “significant investments” made since have “yielded excellent results”, with the company now achieving punctuality and reliability which, it says, are ahead of the UK airline industry average.

The company brags that latest punctuality figures published by the Civil Aviation Authority, for May this year, show it was the most punctual airline in the UK, with more than 86 per cent of its flights within 15 minutes of schedule.

The decision not to enter into an extended franchise agreement with Flybe was made “solely by Loganair’s board,” the company says.

Loganair plans to retain the ability to check in a 20kg bag within all its fares and ticket types, free of charge.

Where other optional services, such as the ability to select specific seats on the aircraft in advance, are offered and provide “added value for our customers”, the company says it will continue to make these available at a “fair and equitable additional charge, as today”.

Flybe may have some advantages but their customer care is raised with me time and time again. TAVISH SCOTT

Today’s move is regarded as encouraging by isles MSP and former Scottish transport minister, Tavish Scott.

“I strongly welcome Loganair’s decision to fly under its own wings again. Flybe may have some advantages but their customer care is raised with me time and time again. So Loganair flying as Loganair means travellers know who they are and who is responsible for the service,” he said.

“Loganair have begun addressing their reliability problems by recruiting more engineers and a opening a new parts store at Glasgow Airport. So the airline’s success depends on providing reliable and affordable links to the Scottish mainland. They also have a crucial role in carrying passengers to Aberdeen for hospital appointments. So this is a lifeline service.”


Chief executive of Loganair’s parent company, Airline Investments Ltd, Peter Simpson, said: “Today’s announcement is a major milestone in the 54-year history of Loganair.

“Although Loganair has flown as a franchise carrier for larger airlines over the last 24 years, there is still a huge level of recognition and affinity for the Loganair name throughout Scotland and beyond. We believe the time is right for Scotland’s airline to now spread its wings once again, and are delighted to be introducing a bold new corporate identity to accompany this important move.”

New Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles.

Managing director Jonathan Hinkles added: “On behalf of the 600-strong team at Loganair, I’m delighted that Scotland’s Airline will be taking to the skies in its own right.

“All of us are very much looking forward to providing the highest standards of safety, punctuality and customer service synonymous with the Loganair name.  We hold tremendous responsibility to operate services on lifeline routes and provide connectivity for Scotland – operating more flights in Scotland than every other airline put together – and I am wholly confident that Loganair’s independence will be warmly welcomed by both our customers and our dedicated team of professional employees.”

Executive chairman of Flybe, Simon Laffin, said: “Scotland is very important to Flybe, and we want to ensure that we serve our customers there to the highest standards, whilst delivering a return to our shareholders. We shall announce our plans on continuing to serve Scotland in due course. In the meantime our customers can travel and book tickets exactly as before, while any new arrangements will be put in place from September 2017 onwards.”


Add Your Comment
  • Chris Denver

    • November 21st, 2016 17:15

    Funny that the article fails to mention that Loganair’s holding company is also the holding company of another already existing separately acting airline (BMI Regional) who of course also doesn’t fly under the flybe brand… with this in mind it is not surprising that Loganair should now do likewise and ensure that flybe stops getting money from them. I’m sure ‘its own reservations system’ will simply be that of BMI Regional, and eventually the two will merge into one airline (maybe continuing the two brands). This is much less surprising now isn’t it?

  • Ian Raymond

    • November 21st, 2016 20:26

    In the past I have treated my parents to holidays to Shetland and was planning on doing so in the future – flying from Exeter to Edinburgh then onwards to Sumburgh. If in any new method of operating through booking including transfer of bags and not needing to check in again is maintained, then OK, all well and good. Otherwise this will unfortunately make the journey that much too inconvenient for them, and (I suspect) will damage tourism potential from many other places on the FlyBe network where this currently exists. FlyBe haven’t been the best, but this needs a bit of careful thought.

  • Allen Fraser

    • November 21st, 2016 23:36

    Flybe is the only UK carrier that offers ticketing to all UK regional airports.
    I have no doubt that Flybe got fed up with the bad press they have received due to the poor service record of Loganair. I guess Flybe is glad to be shot of Loganair.
    I use Flybe a lot for onward flights within the UK and have no problem with them, Loganair is usually the problem. The loss of the link with the UK’s largest regional operator is bad news for Shetland travellers and for tourists wishing to fly to Shetland.
    It looks like with the end of the agreement there will be no through tickets to other regional airports, no luggage checked through to onward regional destinations. If the Loganair flight is late for any reason then you will loose your onward flight with no compensation and no accommodation for transit passengers.

    • Ali Inkster

      • November 22nd, 2016 11:01

      As a frequent traveller I never managed to get a through booking with flybe to take me on with any other carrier. so unless you are headed to some other remote region of the UK then you will notice no change. This meant travelling from Shetland the day before my onward flight if I needed to be sure of reaching my destination. Either that or risking a hefty fare at the last minute should there be any delay. So I will not miss flymaybe in any shape or form. It will now be up to Loganair to prove they are up to the job or make way for a company that is.

    • Pete Brindley

      • November 23rd, 2016 11:23

      Not a good thing as far as I’m concerned. At this time I can check in with Flybe from East Midlands airport and not see my checked in hold baggage until I arrive at Sumburgh. Under the proposed plans I’ll have to reclaim my bags at Aberdeen or Glasgow and go from arrivals to departures and check in with Loganair. This will increase the chances of missing flights due to delays. Twice while flying with Flybe they held flights up so we could make connections from our delayed flights, this will be a thing of the past from next September.

  • Alvin Leong

    • November 22nd, 2016 11:10

    As long as I still can fly through on one ticket as BA to London and beyond, I don’t really care.

  • Thelma Pointer

    • November 22nd, 2016 17:31

    I will now have to take the ferry because I can’t risk having to pay another fair if a delay means missing a connection half way between Norwich and Shetland.

  • Gwynneth Houston

    • November 22nd, 2016 18:13

    I wonder what will happen to Voucher flights? I assume that those of us who use the Flybe credit card and get rewards of voucher flights will need to look for something different. There are very few flights available at the moment (probably because of the changes they knew were about to take place) but will there be a similar scheme put in place connected to a credit card reward scheme. Does anyone know?


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