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Fears north-east passengers will be ‘stranded’ as another airline cancels north-east link with London

Aberdeen International Airport.
Aberdeen International Airport.

Another blow has been dealt to north-east passengers looking to fly to the south-east of England.

Loganair has announced it will axe flights between Aberdeen airport and London Southend.

The budget airline will stop flying between the two in April.

A spokesman for Loganair said the company made the call “reluctantly” as bookings had been “below expectations”.

He insisted the firm “remains committed” to Aberdeen, with new flights to Haugesund in Norway taking off from Monday.

But the decision, announced only nine months after the Southend route was launched, will add to growing concern that the north-east is being left “stranded”.

Nearly 5,000 people have signed a petition for the reinstatement of flights between Aberdeen and London Gatwick, after easyjet cancelled those around a year ago.

Easyjet too claimed the Gatwick route was not busy enough to sustain.

North-east Tory MSP Liam Kerr branded the Loganair announcement “another kick in the teeth to passengers in Aberdeen” who he said faced being “stranded and cut off” from travelling to other parts of the UK.

He said: “The axing of flights to Gatwick is still being felt among passengers in Aberdeen who now no longer have the option to fly to London Southend.”

His party colleague Banff And Buchan MP David Duguid said he would be adding the loss of the Southend route to a list of concerns he will take to Westminster Transport Secretary Grant Shapps next week.

SNP MP for neighbouring Gordon, Richard Thomson added: “This is disappointing news as the Southend service was a very convenient route for those travelling to central and east London, as well as Essex.

“Maintaining capacity on routes in and out of London airports is of huge importance to the north-east.

“If anything, this announcement makes it even more important that Aberdeen regains a service to Gatwick and the airport management team has my full support in its continued efforts to achieve this.”

Loganair’s spokesman confirmed the airline would work with would-be passengers, with flights booked beyond April 17, to arrange alternative travel plans or refunds.

He apologised for the inconvenience the decision would cause.

A spokesman for the airport said: “We are disappointed at the news regarding Southend, that the airline has stated is due low bookings.

“We are delighted Loganair remains committed to our airport with the new route launch of Aberdeen to Haugesund on February 24.

“Our passengers are still well connected to London via our Heathrow and Luton routes.”

Campaigners for better links between Aberdeen airport and the UK capital have blamed a lack of parity over taxation for north-east woes.

Passengers travelling through the Dyce terminal are subject to air passenger duty (APD), while those travelling from the Scottish Government-owned Inverness airport are not.

Easyjet has maintained links between the Highland airport and Gatwick even after cancelling the Aberdeen flights.

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