Loganair has announced a further reduction to its flight offerings over the coming months due to the increasing impact of Covid-19.
The airline said that the measure came as “forward bookings [continued] to fall dramatically versus their previous levels”.
Locally the airline’s new “emergency timetable” means no flights between the isles and Glasgow or Inverness between 17th April and 31st May.
Sumburgh will still offer two flights each day between Sumburgh and Aberdeen. There will also be two flights per day to Edinburgh, connecting via Kirkwall airport.
Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “The coronavirus situation has worsened materially in the last four days, and we have now seen forward bookings fall by around 75 per cent versus their usual levels.
“From the end of next week, we will be implementing an emergency timetable, which will reduce our operations from around 214 to 95 scheduled flights each weekday – a cut of 55 per cent.
“We expect this to be a temporary reduction and we are implementing this until the end of May but may have to extend that timescale as the situation continues to develop.”
Customers booked on affected flights will be able to change their booking to a future date without paying a change fee. However, if the future flight is more expensive than the ticket they currently hold the customer will have to pay the difference between the fares.
“I would strongly advise our affected customers to manage their booking through our website as we are experiencing exceptionally high call volumes into our call centre”, Mr Hinkles said.
He added: “Importantly, we will maintain lifeline services to the island communities we serve but will be forced to do so with reduced frequency.”