The final Loganair flight by Saab 340 has taken place as the regional carrier retires the fleet after more than 24 years in service.
The “workhorse” Saab 340s are being replaced by larger new ATR turboprops, providing up to 45% more capacity on some routes.
The ATR fleet will also help to boost the resilience of Loganair as there is greater availability of pilots licensed to fly the aircraft, according to the carrier.
The airline’s 18 Saab 340s, the former mainstay of Loganair’s Scottish islands services, completed more than 430,000 passenger and cargo flights, and carried more than eight million people over their lifetime.
The last flight, from Kirkwall to Inverness and Glasgow, followed the route of the airline’s first Saab 340 service.
The aircraft was flown by Eddie Watt, Loganair’s longest serving pilot, who joined the airline in 1996 and is retiring on his 65th birthday tomorrow (Friday).
Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “It really is a historic moment for Loganair. The Saab 340s have been essential to our operation of island services over the years, connecting remote communities with the mainland and delivering over eight million customers along with food, newspapers, pets and mail.
“As someone whose aviation journey was prompted by a strong passion for flying, I am personally very sad to see these aircraft go, but we look forward to introducing our new ATR fleet to our customers who will love the space and comfort they offer.
“Today we celebrate another special retirement with the departure of Captain Eddie Watt after 34 years of service. He has made a remarkable contribution to Loganair, and we wish him well on his next chapter.”
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