Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has warmly welcomed the ongoing collaboration work between Flybe/Eastern Airways and Loganair following a meeting of the Outer Hebrides Airport Consultative Committee held at the Comhairle offices this morning.
Representatives from Flybe, Eastern Airways and Loganair attended the meeting and delivered presentations on their aims and vision for the future of inter-island air services.
A presentation by Loganair Chief Executive Jonathan Hinkles highlighted improvements in service performance, confirmation that a Benbecula to Edinburgh service, via Stornoway, will be established from 5th September this year and also that an agreement is now in place between the airlines for Loganair to manage the baggage handling at Stornoway Airport.
Flights will depart from Edinburgh at 7:20am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays arriving in Benbecula, via Stornoway, at 9:25am. Flights will then depart Benbecula at 9:55am, arriving in Edinburgh at midday. There will also be an evening Benbecula - Edinburgh connection via Stornoway.
In addition, the morning Inverness - Benbecula connection will be restored with flights departing from Inverness at 7:20am, arriving in Benbecula at 9:25am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The afternoon 1-stop service both ways remains in place.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said: “Whilst we cautiously welcome the additional services and the subsequent affordability benefits which come with that, we have had ongoing concerns regarding the capacity constraints and future sustainability of the service. Therefore, we were very pleased to hear that an agreement has been struck between the airlines for Loganair to manage the baggage handling at Stornoway Airport.
"We hope that the airlines will continue to engage in positive and constructive communication in the coming months, particularly in relation to connectivity and making the most of the additional capacity on the additional rotations from Glasgow to Stornoway.
This was a very positive meeting and we also warmly welcome Loganair’s announcement of a new Benbecula - Edinburgh service which will be great news for the communities of Uist. Overall, these are very welcome developments and I believe there is great potential for further opportunities in the future."
There will be ongoing surface works on the taxiway at Stornoway Airport between Monday 21st August and Wednesday 4th October 2017, however, HIAL anticipate that there will be minimal impact on flights to and from the airport.