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Loganair has warned passengers to bring confirmation of
their need for essential travel for flights until 20 April as it announced
severe reductions to its operations.
The Scottish airline said anyone unable to prove that their
journey is essential may not be allowed to travel. In addition, it warned that
those trying to get to the Isle of Man must obtain authorisation from the
island’s chief secretary to do so.
In addition to all international routes that have already
been suspended until 31 May and the closing of Carlisle Lake District airport,
Loganair said it would temporarily cancel flights between Aberdeen and
Southend, and between Edinburgh and Wick John O’Groats.
From 30 March to 20 April, the carrier will operate
essential services to remote communities in the Scottish Highlands and Islands
and other routes, including: between Aberdeen and Kirkwall, Manchester, Norwich
and Sumburgh; between Glasgow and Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay,
Stornoway and Tiree; between Isle of Man and Liverpool and Manchester; between Kirkwall
and Sumburgh; Orkney inter-isles services; between Stornoway and Benbecula; and
between Southend and the City of Derry.
Customers affected by the cancellations can either request a
refund or delay their bookings to a later date without any change fees.
As a result of the cuts, Loganair expects to ground half of
its 44 aircraft and furlough most of its staff under the UK government’s
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles commented: “The challenges
that we’re all facing in everyday life are evolving by the day, and we are
having to work through a whole host of disparate issues to maintain services
for those with a critical need to travel, or indeed the many island communities
totally reliant on Loganair to deliver their daily essentials.
“I’m proud of the work that so many of our team are doing
right now to keep vital air routes open, without which our communities would be
in severe difficulty. The tremendous team spirit in evidence throughout
Loganair is providing all of us with confidence to tackle the challenges that
undoubtedly lay ahead. Throughout all of this, safety will remain our absolute
priority – whether that of our staff or our customers, or indeed the daily
focus to assure that each and every Loganair flight is conducted safely.”