Loganair has set out its plans to re-build connectivity to, from and within the Scottish islands over the coming weeks.
It follows the first minister’s recent announcement of changes to Covid-19 rules on travel to and from the islands, which will progressively allow non-essential travel to take place.
Loganair has operated services to Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles throughout the pandemic.
The Glasgow Airport-based airline has maintained scheduled links for essential passenger travel during the crisis.
It has also delivered record volumes of mail and parcels under its long-standing commitments with Royal Mail, serviced contracts for oil and gas companies, and operated potentially life-saving flights for the Scottish Ambulance Service.
A number of passenger-scheduled services have been maintained with Transport Scotland support in order to make sure lifeline routes have remained open.
Loganair has now announced an increased schedule, while also reassuring customers its FlySafe healthy flying protocols will remain in place on every flight for as long as public health guidelines deem them necessary or advisable.
From Monday May 3, combined Aberdeen-Kirkwall and Aberdeen-Sumburgh services will be “de-linked” to provide dedicated flights to each group of islands.
Weekday evening services linking Glasgow with Campbeltown, Islay and Stornoway will also resume on that date, as will flights from Edinburgh to Kirkwall and Sumburgh – initially with services every day of the week except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
From Monday May 24, Edinburgh services to Kirkwall and Sumburgh will increase to a daily operation.
North Isles link to Glasgow returns
Glasgow services to Kirkwall and Sumburgh will also resume that day, initially with “limited” frequency before building up to daily flights during June.
In addition, dedicated Glasgow-Benbecula services will resume at weekends from May 24. These flights have operated on a shared basis with services to Stornoway during the pandemic.
Edinburgh-Stornoway flights will resume the same day, initially on Mondays and Fridays before building up to a daily service during June.
From Tuesday June 1, Inverness-Stornoway services move from one to two flights each weekday, restoring a day return capability in each direction.
Inverness services to Orkney and Shetland will be up and running again from that date.
Meanwhile, Loganair will progressively re-start services on more than 30 cross-border routes linking destinations in Scotland with Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Exeter, Newquay, Belfast City and other locations in the coming weeks.
Some routes – including Aberdeen-Birmingham – have already resumed, providing connectivity to and from the Scottish islands. All flights are on sale via Loganair’s website at www.loganair.co.uk
Loganair chief commercial officer Kay Ryan said: ‘We know many of our customers have been waiting for our services to either resume or indeed start in some cases.
“As the UK’s largest regional airline our network provides much-needed connections from the islands to mainland Scotland and beyond.
“We are delighted that travel for both leisure and business will be permitted from Monday April 26, and we look forward to our passengers returning to the skies.”