Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur and Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael have responded to the announcement that Loganair is reducing flights with an emergency timetable due to the impact of coronavirus.
Mr McArthur commented:
“The dramatic fall in those using our air services in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic leaves Loganair with little option other than to scale back their operations at this time.
“It is not in Orkney’s interests, or that of any community in the Highlands & islands, for Loganair to continue flying empty planes and suffering catastrophic financial losses. The demise of Flybe earlier this year offers a timely reminder of the vulnerability of many airline businesses, even before the current crisis hit. It is important, therefore, that responsible decisions are taken to protect the long-term future of our lifeline air services.
“I have been assured by Loganair that these are only temporary emergency measures and that services will be scaled up and reinstated as soon as circumstances permit. Meantime, I welcome the fact Loganair’s inter-isles services continue to operate as normal”.
Mr Carmichael added:
“Lifeline services for the isles must be the priority at this time. While the reduction in flight options will be frustrating for some, we have to take a long term view to ensure that we protect the future viability of our air services.
“I am glad that Loganair has acted in a measured way, while respecting the need to maintain essential connections.”