Loganair is today relaunching two routes from Aberdeen – re-connecting the city with Birmingham and Newcastle, as the first step to restoring full services at one of its major hub airports after the Covid-19 pandemic. The first flights to Birmingham and Newcastle will both take off from Aberdeen this afternoon.
Services to Birmingham will initially operate on four days each week – Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday – before building from late August to two flights in each direction every weekday plus a Sunday service. Alongside services from Aberdeen to Belfast and Manchester, Loganair stepped in to take on the Birmingham route following the collapse of previous operator Flybe in early March.
Flights between Aberdeen and Newcastle will operate every weekday afternoon and on Sundays, building to a twice-daily schedule by mid July. There will also be onward same-plane services linking Aberdeen to Exeter and Southampton with a short stop at Newcastle.
Loganair – the largest operator at Aberdeen Airport – has continued to fly more services than any other UK passenger airline during the crisis. In addition to keeping lifeline routes to the Highlands and Islands open through the pandemic, the airline has also maintained services for essential workers from Aberdeen to Manchester and Norwich.
All flights will be operated under the “Safe Steps to Healthy Flying” protocols which Loganair announced on 14 May – becoming the first UK airline to set out detailed plans on how customer safety will be attained and maintained whilst Covid-19 is present. Loganair’s initiatives mirror those later announced by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s Chief Executive, said:
“With many businesses turning their thoughts to re-starting work after the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s regional air connectivity will be more important than ever.”
“For the sake of the recovery of the UK economy, we must enable key workers across the oil & gas, construction, service and healthcare sectors to travel swiftly, comfortably and safely throughout the country.”
“As well as providing travel guidance on which basis businesses can plan, we believe today’s announcement will also lend confidence to people looking forward to visiting families and friends once social restrictions permit.”
Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns and manages Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, said:
“Our Loganair colleagues have worked incredibly hard to maintain the country’s vital lifeline Highlands and Island services during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and their efforts should be commended.
“We are working closely with many of our airline partners to assist them with their restart plans, so it is reassuring to see that Loganair will not only increase frequencies on existing services, but will also commence flights on a number of key regional routes lost through the collapse of Flybe.
“Aviation continues to face huge challenges, however, it is heartening to see signs of recovery and AGS Airports Ltd stands ready to help get what is a resilient industry back on its feet.”
Loganair’s advice to customers regarding travel safety during the current COVID-19 crisis is already available on its website, and customers are urged to check for regular updates.