Loganair’s chief executive Jonathan Hinkles has written an apologetic open letter to the people of Shetland, saying the airline’s April performance was “simply not good enough”.
The airline has come under fierce scrutiny over the past month, with a Facebook page set up to log all of Loganair’s cancelled or delayed flights to Orkney and Shetland.
And a couple from Nottingham were quoted almost £1,000 for return flights to Shetland in June, sparking more anger about the pricing for the service.
Mr Hinkles has responded to those stories, saying they know that they have not delivered the service Shetland needs in April.
He said their on-time performance has been “poor”, citing high levels of Covid absences as a factor which has “really impacted our ability to provide the normal level of resilience”.
“Overall, we did still manage to fly the vast majority of our passengers to their destinations, flying 99 per cent of our planned services to and from Shetland between January and March, and 97 per cent in April.
“However, our on-time performance has suffered, dropping from an average of 80 per cent in January-March to 61 per cent in April.
“We know this is simply not good enough.”
Addressing the price of Loganair’s flights, Mr Hinkles said: “We offer a range of fares and – just as with any other airline – booking as early as you can is always advisable to get the best fares.
“There’s a perception that because we offer ‘lifeline’ services we must benefit from subsidies along similar lines to ferries – but the truth is we don’t.
“If no-one flies with us, we have no income.
“We must make money from busy flights to be able to maintain services across 52 weeks of the year – so making a profit on a busy flight on a Friday in May goes towards making sure there’s still a service on a quiet (and loss-making) Tuesday in February.”