Loganair is back in the black after its first year flying solo.
The Scottish airline reported a pre-tax profit of £1.01 million for the 12 months ending March 31 2019 – its first full year of operation under its own brand having split from its franchise agreement with Flybe.
Accounts also showed a record turnover of £119.85m, up 8.3% on the previous year’s £110.65m.
The firm said the pre-tax profit was reported after non-recurring costs of £3.07m related to the introduction of Embraer jet aircraft to the fleet and the associated “significant expansion” of Loganair’s fleet to 43 aircraft during the first quarter of this year.
This expansion now makes Loganair the UK’s fifth largest airline measured by number of flights operated.
Loganair said the results marked a welcome return to the black after the previous year’s loss, which reflected the cost of creating an airline from scratch and subsequent “damaging and unsustainable competition on key routes from its previous partner”.
In February, fellow UK regional airline bmi Regional ceased trading, and the firm said Loganair’s operation “immediately grew” in scope by recruiting 140 of its pilots, cabin crew and engineers – as well as expanding the fleet by acquiring many of its Embraer jet aircraft.
The increased range of the jet aircraft has facilitated growth further afield for Loganair, with new services from Scotland to Germany, Norway and Denmark and from Newcastle to Belgium and Norway being launched in recent months.
Operating from its Glasgow Airport headquarters and with 10 further operating bases in Scotland and England, Loganair now has 840 staff – its largest-ever complement.
Managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “We have every reason to be proud of our achievements in the last year, growing our routes in the UK and Europe, expanding staff numbers and expanding our fleet.
“In addition to new scheduled routes during the year, we also won a new contract to provide services for British Airways’ CityFlyer subsidiary, took over the operation of a corporate shuttle service for a major aircraft manufacturer linking its production sites, and won a competitive tender to provide essential air services between the City of Derry and London.
“We have also expanded our codeshare and interline agreements with such major international airlines as British Airways, Turkish Airways, Emirates Airline, KLM, Air France and Qatar Airways, bringing benefits to customers who can fly with a single ticket between our destinations in the Highlands and islands and hundreds of major cities worldwide.”
The airline has also pressed forward with expansion plans in the early part of the new financial year, launching new services to London Southend from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Stornoway and the first commercial air services from Carlisle Lake District Airport in more than 25 years.