Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur held talks in parliament earlier today with Loganair Chief Executive, Jonathan Hinkles. With the current franchise arrangement with Flybe due to end at the beginning of September this year, the meeting focused on Loganair’s plans for developing its services in that context.
Following the meeting, Mr McArthur said:
“The fact that Loganair’s franchise arrangement with Flybe is to end later this year has given rise to many questions about how our lifeline services will operate in future. I still believe this is an opportunity for Loganair to respond more effectively to the specific demands and expectations of the communities it serves. Today’s meeting with Jonathan Hinkles confirmed that Loganair is giving serious thought as to how this can best be done.
“We discussed the importance of continuing to improve service reliability, as well as the need to safeguard and expand connections within the UK and internationally. Allowing bookings to be made well in advance is also key, not least for Orkney’s vital tourism sector. It was encouraging to hear Mr Hinkles agree on all these points, including the need for better integration with the inter-isles air services operated by Loganair.
“In terms of customer service, Mr Hinkles suggested that he is looking to make improvements to booking processes and the way in which the airline communicates with customers. Again this is welcome, given problems that have arisen in the past.
“Some of the detail of what is planned is still to be finalised, but it is important that the public is made aware of any changes as soon as possible. Mr Hinkles entirely accepted this point and hoped to be able to update members of Orkney’s Key Air Service Users Group at the meeting in Kirkwall next week (3 March).”