Orkney MSP Liam McArthur and Shetland MSP Tavish Scott today visited Loganair’s ‘spares hub’ site at Glasgow Airport.
Mr Maurice Boyle, Operations Director at Loganair, hosted the visit following a meeting last month in the Scottish Parliament with the Northern Isles MSPs. They were joined by Loganair's Head of Engineering, Barry Store.
Loganair’s ‘spares hub’ site was established to speed up the process of supplying parts for the Loganair aircraft fleet. In addition efforts have been made to recruit and train engineering support, in large part replacing those who have left the airline over recent times.
The visit to the Loganair's engineering site today was, according to Orkney MSP Liam McArthur, “timely” given on-going problems with reliability of the islands’ lifeline air services.
Speaking after the meeting, Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur said:
“We are grateful to Maurice Boyle and Barry Stone for hosting this visit. It was useful to see first-hand Loganair’s new ‘spares hub’ at Glasgow Airport and to speak to local staff. They are confident that the facility will help Loganair respond to technical issues more quickly and allow parts to be replaced on a more regular basis.
“Hopefully this will deliver the improvements that are so desperately needed in terms of the reliability of our lifeline air services. In addition, plans to make greater use of technology to communicate with passengers is a welcome step in the right direction. This is particularly the case in the event of technical or weather-related delays”.
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur added:
“I was encouraged to hear the Head of Engineering confirm that this new facility in Glasgow will allow a greater number and range of spare parts to be stored in the stations around Scotland, including Kirkwall. The local engineering team in Orkney is highly regarded, but they also need the means to do their job.
“I was also keen to highlight concerns on behalf of Loganair’s front line staff. Improving reliability of the service must remain the number one priority, and this will benefit passengers and staff alike, but ground staff in Kirkwall often go out of their way to help and need to be supported by the airline”.
Looking ahead to discussions between Loganair and Aberdeen International Airport, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said:
“There are a significant number of patients who travel from the Northern Isles to Aberdeen Airport for hospital treatment. These patients are often in need of specific assistance and therefore facilities at Aberdeen Airport must be fit for purpose.
“While the recent announcement of a £20 million package to upgrade facilities is welcome, it must be used to improve accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility and discreet waiting areas for patients who may feel unwell and need privacy.
“I am glad Maurice Boyle will be discussing these issues when he visits Aberdeen Airport management tomorrow. These issues matter for the many patients from Shetland and Orkney who use this airport and I welcome Loganair’s support for this campaign.”