Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur has met with Loganair’s senior management to discuss the recent departure of former CEO, Jonathan Hinkles as well as concerns over changes made to Loganair’s timetable on key routes.
During the meeting on Friday with Maurice Boyle, Chief Operating Officer, and Luke Lovegrove, Chief Commercial Officer, Mr McArthur stressed the importance of Loganair improving its engagement with key stakeholders in the communities that rely on its services. It follows concerns raised by NHS Orkney, as well as individual patients, about the impact a reduction in flights between Kirkwall and Aberdeen will have on those travelling for hospital appointments and treatment.
Mr McArthur has also been working with HIAL to agree a way forward that would allow a Kirkwall Airport consultation group to be re-established. In the past, this type of forum has allowed regular users of the air services to meet to discuss a wide range of issues with Loganair and HIAL, which is responsible for operating the airport. Unfortunately, such a group has not met for a number of years.
Commenting on his meeting with Loganair, Mr McArthur said:
“The change in leadership at Loganair has given rise to questions about what this will mean for the delivery of its services to islanders. I was keen, therefore, to reinforce to Loganair’s senior management the importance of the airline doing more to engage directly with the communities it serves, particularly when it comes to decisions around timetabling. While these are ultimately decisions for Loganair, they should always be informed by an understanding of the needs of customers, particularly when those customers are patients requiring medical treatment.
“In the past, regular user group meetings allowed a two-way flow of information between Loganair and those using its services most frequently. The absence of such a group over recent years has not helped either Loganair or its customers and I hope this can be rectified in the near future.
“Meantime, I hope an early meeting can be scheduled between Loganair and NHS Orkney to see how best the needs of island patients can be met and prioritised going forward.”