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Loganair chief calls for industry support

Loganair’s Jonathan Hinkles.

LOGANAIR has announced its Summer 2021 schedule, and at the same time, called for additional support from the UK Government for the aviation industry.

The schedule sees the introduction of several routes which Loganair had deferred or suspended in Summer 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Cornwall Airport Newquay will join the Loganair network with services to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Aberdeen.There will be up to four flights a week between Newquay and Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, plus two weekly flights via Newcastle to Aberdeen.

  • Services between Glasgow and Exeter will commence in March 2021 with a daily jet service, complementing Loganair’s existing routes to Exeter from Edinburgh and Newcastle.

  • Bergen will re-join the Loganair network with non-stop flights from Edinburgh, Newcastle and Sumburgh and connections from a range of other Loganair departure points.

  • Jersey will be served from Aberdeen and Norwich, with enhanced links between Aberdeen and Jersey with one-stop same-plane weekday flights through Norwich. Further Jersey routes remain under discussion with key tour operator partners.

Tickets are on sale for travel from the end of March until end of August next year.

As he made the announcement, Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles called for the UK Government to provide additional support at a very difficult time for the aviation sector via a reduction in Air Passenger Duty for UK internal flights. Alongside trade bodies, the airline is continuing to lobby for an alleviation, particularly where passengers on domestic return trips pay double the tax of those flying out of the UK to European destinations.

He said: “We’re pleased to announce our Summer 2021 schedule which will protect and enhance the UK’s regional connectivity. The earlier launch of our summer schedule is a recognition that there is demand from customers who have deferred travel plans from this summer as a result of the pandemic and who are now waiting to book for next year.

However, recovery from the pandemic has been incredibly slow and shows every sign of remaining that way. It is imperative that the Government now acts to provide additional support for the sector through an alleviation of Air Passenger Duty and ending of double taxation on domestic flights.”  

It has helped the housing market with alleviations of stamp duty; the restaurant trade with the Eat Out to Help Out programme and the hospitality sector with VAT cuts. Yet aviation has been left behind and continues to suffer deeply from international travel restrictions and the consequent impact on consumer confidence. We urgently need a ‘Tax Off For Take Off’ equivalent campaign to help the aviation industry through this incredibly difficult recovery.”

Regional airlines and airports play a key part in UK connectivity but won’t continue to exist unless a cohesive support programme from the Government, led by the reform of APD, is rapidly introduced.”