Flybe terminates Loganair franchise agreement

UK airline Flybe announced that its franchise agreement with Glasgow-based Loganair to fly under the Flybe brand has been terminated with effect from August 2017 “following a failure to agree future operational standards and commercial arrangements.”

Flybe said this change to part of its route network in Scotland “is not expected to have a material impact on profits of the group.”

Flybe executive chairman Simon Laffin said: “Scotland is very important to Flybe, and we want to ensure that we serve our customers there to the highest standards, whilst delivering a return to our shareholders.

“We shall announce our plans on continuing to serve Scotland in due course.”

Loganair said in a statement it will “take to the air in its own right once again in Autumn 2017 after nearly quarter of a century flying under franchise arrangements with other airlines.”

Loganair said the move will create “a national airline for Scotland, headquartered in Scotland.”

Loganair said it will operate flights in its own right from September 1, 2017, after 24 years of operating under franchise agreements with other airlines.

Loganair said it will provide more than 1,000 flights each week across 46 routes including London, Norwich, Manchester, Dublin, and Bergen.

It said it has almost 300 flights each week to and from Glasgow and is the largest operator at airports throughout the Highlands & Islands including Inverness, Sumburgh, Kirkwall and Stornoway.

The Loganair network includes the “times subject to tide” operations to the beach airport at Barra and the world’s shortest scheduled flight, linking the Orkney islands of Westray and Papa Westray with daily flights taking only two minutes.

Loganair has operated its services under franchise agreements with British Airways from 1993 to 2007, and with Flybe from 2007.

It said the current franchise arrangement with Flybe will conclude on August 31, 2017, “although the two parties are continuing to discuss potential opportunities to work together in future.”

Loganair employs more than 600 people and operates a fleet of 28 aircraft.

As well as its scheduled services, Loganair carried out contract services for Royal Mail and oil and gas companies.

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone in the 54-year history of Loganair,” said Peter Simpson, chief executive of Airline Investments Ltd, Loganair’s parent company.

“Although Loganair has flown as a franchise carrier for larger airlines over the last 24 years, there is still a huge level of recognition and affinity for the Loganair name throughout Scotland and beyond.

“We believe the time is right for Scotland’s Airline to now spread its wings once again, and are delighted to be introducing a bold new corporate identity to accompany this important move.”

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “On behalf of the 600-strong team at Loganair, I’m delighted that Scotland’s Airline will be taking to the skies in its own right …

“We hold tremendous responsibility to operate services on lifeline routes and provide connectivity for Scotland — operating more flights in Scotland than every other airline put together — and I am wholly confident that Loganair’s independence will be warmly welcomed by both our customers and our dedicated team of professional employees.”