Scottish airline Loganair announced a string of new flights yesterday, calling its new summer schedule “a statement of intent” before it takes over routes currently operated in partnership with Flybe.
Aberdeen will be the departure point for a new service linking Scotland and the Faroe Islands for the first time in many years.
Airports in the Highlands and islands will benefit from both new and additional services, with Glasgow also in line for extra flights and a new route.
Loganair said new flights from Glasgow and Orkney, weekly and twice weekly respectively, would take off for Bergen, Norway, between May and September next year.
The announcement comes just two days after Paisley-based Loganair revealed it will fly solo to and from north and north-east airports from September 2017 after the collapse of an eight-year-old franchise deal with Flybe.
Managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “It’s always a pleasure to introduce new routes, and our links to Bergen and the Faroe Islands are great news for both leisure and business travellers.
“I’m also certain that we’ll see Norwegian and Faroese visitors taking full advantage of the wide range of leisure and retail options on offer in Scotland.
“Our summer schedule is a statement of intent as we announce our transition from the Flybe franchise arrangements to become an independent operator.”
Starting on May 26, Loganair will fly twice a week – on Fridays and Sundays – between Aberdeen and Vagar.
The route will operate until September 3 but Loganair said it would “evaluate demand”, with a view to moving to a year-round service.
In Inverness, the airline is adding a fourth daily service to Manchester – improving connection options through the busy English airport.
Loganair said it was increasing capacity between Glasgow and Stornoway by 18% by using larger Saab 2000 50-seat aircraft on three of the four weekday round trips.
It will also use bigger planes on selected weekend flights between Glasgow and Benbecula, and on one of two daily flights between Glasgow and Sumburgh.
In addition, the new summer schedule includes a third weekday service and a second Sunday flight between Glasgow and Islay.
There will be three more flights a week between Edinburgh and Wick, and a new timetable for Edinburgh-Stornoway services to “ensure that the route remains commercially viable” despite new charges at Edinburgh.
New flights linking Manchester with Sumburgh and Stornoway will cut journey times and deliver cheaper fares, the airline said, adding a second weekly Bergen service from Shetland would operate every Tuesday between May 30 and August 29.
Loganair said it was also putting on extra weekend flights between Glasgow and Kirkwall, while larger aircraft will be used on the route’s existing Saturday services.
Among other changes, Loganair said it was developing Glasgow as a base to link the Highlands and islands with its services to Manchester and Leeds Bradford.
And it is expanding outside Scotland, thanks to a four-times-a-week service between Norwich and Jersey.