Loganair cuts three routes as new chief unveils vision

Loganair is cutting three routes and temporarily reducing frequencies on seven others after a root-and-branch review by new boss Luke Farajallah, who pledged to improve on “unacceptable” disruption over the last year and a half.

The services being axed from May 10 are Aberdeen to Teesside, Aberdeen to Newcastle and Glasgow to Southampton, with a series of other routes set to have frequencies reduced until the end of the summer schedule on October 26.

The airline said it had listened to customers and crew and it was now acting to address long-standing concerns, aiming to reduce the number of cancellations and delays.

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Chief executive Farajallah said: “We have been falling short of the service levels expected of us by our loyal customers and amazing crew for over 18 months, and today we are making changes that once fully delivered throughout the summer will help restore the image and reputation we have fought so hard to generate over so many years as the trusted airline partner in our unique market.”

Farajallah, who took over from Jonathan Hinkles as chief executive on March 4, added that he wanted to apologise to everyone affected by “unacceptable levels of disruption” during the re-fleeting programme which has run for more than 18 months.

Addressing the axed routes and temporary reductions in frequencies, Farajallah said: “We appreciate the changes we are announcing today may impact some customers whose bookings may need to change.

“While we apologise to customers affected, this decision is one that has been made for the greater good of the vast majority of customers who must be able to book and fly with confidence, especially from some of the most remote parts of the UK.”

The frequency changes, which are being introduced in stages, will see the Edinburgh to Southampton service drop from four times a day to three, while Inverness to Manchester will reduce from 11 times a week to nine, and Inverness to Stornoway will drop from 10 times a week to nine.

Isle of Man to Birmingham will have its Saturday service removed, Glasgow to City of Derry will have its Thursday service removed, and Glasgow to Donegal will have its Friday service halted.

Newcastle to Southampton will drop from 15 times a week to 13.

Farajallah said: “Loganair is the UK’s largest regional airline, and we are getting back to the basic principles that have made us successful for over six decades.

“We are ruthlessly focused on confidently serving our core markets and core customers, who must be able to book with certainty and experience a stable and resilient flying programme.

“This is especially true for the Highlands and Islands communities who rely on Loganair for being so much more than an airline serving a leisure market.”

Farajallah added that the airline’s staff and directors looked forward to returning to the brand’s “core set of principles in our heartlands”.

“We intend to defend and grow our presence in these markets through the demonstration that we can and will deliver consistent operational stability and excellence,” he said.

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