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Loganair has announced it plans to start increasing flights again to the Scottish islands over the coming weeks.
Throughout the pandemic, Scotland’s Airline with support from Transport Scotland, maintained a number of passenger-scheduled services to ensure lifeline routes remained open.
It also reports having delivered record volumes of mail and parcels under its long-standing commitment with the Royal Mail.
Furthermore, it maintained flying contracts with oil and gas companies for key workers, and provided dedicated air ambulance capability for the Scottish Ambulance Service.
It now says it plans to to rebuild connectivity to, from and within the Scottish islands over the coming weeks.
It follows changes to Covid-19 rules on travel to and from Scotland’s island communities, which will progressively allow non-essential travel to take place.
It has assured customers that its ‘FlySafe healthy flying protocols’ will remain in place on every flight.
This will remain in place for as long as public health guidelines deem them necessary or advisable, it said.
Kay Ryan, Loganair’s chief commercial officer, 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.’
Travel for both leisure and business returned from Monday April 26.
From May 3, week day evening services linking Glasgow with Campbeltown, Islay and Stornoway all resume.
Flights from Edinburgh to Kirkwall and Sumburgh resume for the first time in 2021, initially with services on five days each week (daily except Tue/Wed).
From May 24, Edinburgh services to Kirkwall and Sumburgh increase to daily.
Also on that date Glasgow services to Kirkwall and Sumburgh resume, initially with limited service before building up to daily flights during June.
From the week beginning May 24, dedicated Glasgow-Benbecula services resume at weekends, which had been shared with Stornoway during the pandemic.
Edinburgh-Stornoway flights resume, initially on Mondays and Fridays before building up to a daily service during June.
From June 1, Inverness to Stornoway services move from one to two flights each weekday, restoring a day return capability in each direction.
Also from June 1, Inverness services to Orkney and Shetland resume, it said.
In the coming weeks, services on more than 30 cross-border routes linking destinations in Scotland with Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Exeter, Newquay and Belfast City are due to return.
Loganair said some routes – including Aberdeen/Birmingham – have already resumed, providing connectivity to and from the Scottish islands.
In addition, Loganair will be flying the Scotland national football team and back room staff to matches in the delayed UEFA Euro 2020 competition this year.
As the national team’s official airline partner for the tournament, the tartan-tailed aircraft will be based near Darlington with the squad based on Teesside.
It will fly to Glasgow for the Group D matches at Hampden against the Czech Republic and Croatia on June 14 and 22.
Then it will be down to London for the crunch game versus England at Wembley on June 18 which could decide the progress of either team.
All flights are available on its website at www.loganair.co.uk