Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart has met with Loganair chiefs, Jonathan Hinkles, Chief Executive, and Maurice Boyle, Chief Operations Officer, and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today to discuss recent delays on the Aberdeen and Edinburgh routes from both Kirkwall and Sumburgh. This followed ongoing concerns about delayed flights and significant disruption at the weekend after planned major maintenance overran and separate unrelated problems with two further aircraft occurred.
Issues were compounded by an inability to secure operating hours extensions at both Sumburgh and Kirkwall airports on Monday night to enable the completion of the last roundtrip of the day to each destination. Loganair chiefs said they took the decision not to re-assign one of their aircraft from the Aberdeen and Glasgow services at the weekend fearing the impact it would inflict on NHS patient travel.
Loganair said they will be contacting all affected customers with an apology and a pro-active offer of the compensation that they are entitled to claim.
Both MSPs highlighted the importance of good communication with passengers, especially when delays occur.
After the meeting Ms Wishart said:
“Loganair have rightly apologised for the delays and unforeseen issues that arose last weekend, and I am pleased that Loganair chiefs will be reaching out to the passengers affected, but they must look at their backup plans which need to be resilient to avoid major disruption.
“These are lifeline services, and passengers often have time-sensitive appointments on the other side of a flight, sometimes ones that have been months in the making.
“We can all understand weather delays but frustration sets in when passengers are left without clear explanations about the cause of delays and what is being done to resolve them.
“We had a robust conversation this afternoon and it was useful to hear what Loganair is doing to try and resolve matters. I shall be keeping a close watch on the situation and on service reliability.”