Loganair has announced six new routes and additional flights for next summer – but the airline’s direct link from Sumburgh to Manchester will be ended.
From March Loganair will increase services between Shetland and Glasgow with an extra three flights a week.
There are also new destinations from Aberdeen with services to Newcastle and Norwich taking to the air last week and new routes to Haugesund in Norway and East Midlands scheduled from February. The airline says that extends the range of flight connections available from Shetland under a single booking.
However, anyone wanting to fly to Manchester directly from Sumburgh will no longer be able to after Loganair decided to discontinue the route which operated this summer. Industrial action by air traffic controllers has been blamed for that decision.
Managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “The non-stop services from Manchester have worked well commercially but as they link airports neither of which are bases, it is more challenging for us to deliver these services. With Hial air traffic control work-to-rule ongoing, we are not prepared to accept the operational risk to continue these services.
“As a direct result of the industrial action, we’ve taken the decision to discontinue the airlink between Sumburgh and Manchester.”
Flights to Bergen may also fall foul of the ongoing dispute over pay at Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial).
Mr Hinkles added: “Although we are planning services between Sumburgh and Bergen for Summer 2020, we will also not open these flights for bookings until or unless there is a clear resolution to the industrial action.”