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Loganair to take on 16 routes from collapsed Flybe

Loganair CEO Jonathan Hinkles

Jonathan Hinkles: desperately sad day

Scottish airline Loganair is to take on 16 of the routes flown by the collapsed short-haul operator Flybe and will hire some of its staff.

Loganair will add close to 400 new flights each week from existing base airports at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Newcastle.

They will be launched over the next four months, beginning 16 March.

The company moved swiftly to pick up the extra traffic following Flybe’s collapse into administration overnight, putting 2,000 jobs at risk.

Loganair will be recruiting pilots, cabin crew and engineers and said it will create 100 new positions at its four locations, with priority given to former Flybe employees.

The change of fortune for travellers followed a night of chaos as 33 flights from Edinburgh Airport to destinations across the UK were axed, and one to Paris. Glasgow Airport saw 12 flights to UK cities cancelled, while services were also scrapped at Aberdeen airport and from Highlands and Islands Airports hubs.

Flybe contributed

Flybe: collapsed

Loganair said that by taking on the routes, it would “help former Flybe ground handling agents and airport operators at locations such as Southampton and Exeter to preserve employment in their businesses”.

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said the move is the result of “several weeks of behind-the-scenes contingency planning work”, cautioning that it will not lead to “over-expansion” and is “robust and sustainable”.

He added: “The collapse of a long-standing airline like Flybe marks a desperately sad day, especially for the airline’s dedicated team of employees and for customers facing disruption to their journeys.

“By stepping in quickly with a comprehensive plan, Loganair is aiming to maintain essential air connectivity within the UK regions to keep customers flying, and to offer new employment to former Flybe staff members who are facing an uncertain future today.”

Customers previously booked on Flybe services on the same routes will need to make new bookings.

The full routes Loganair will take on are: Aberdeen and Belfast City, Birmingham, Jersey and Manchester; Edinburgh and Cardiff, Exeter, Manchester, Newquay and Southampton; Glasgow and Exeter and Southampton; Inverness and Belfast City, Birmingham and Jersey; Newcastle and Exeter and Southampton.

The Scottish Government said Flybe has around 300 employees at its bases in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and officials have spoken with Loganair.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We have this morning contacted administrators Ernst Young, based in Manchester, to offer support to affected staff through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment.

“My officials have spoken with AGS Airports, Edinburgh Airport and Highlands and Islands Airports this morning to discuss how we can best help ensure connectivity is maintained and enhanced.”

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said everyone was “gutted” about the news, but added: “We really tried to do everything we could back at the turn of the year.

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