Airline in black

Loganair returns to profit in search for buyer

Loganair is seeking a buyer

Loganair, the UK’s largest regional airline, returned to profit after running up losses in the previous two years.

The airline, which is up for sale, posted a near-£5 million pre-tax profit on turnover of £161m for the 12 months to March 2022.

That compared with a £5.6m loss and turnover of £81m in the previous financial year and a loss of £12.7m on a turnover of £169m in the year to the end of March 2020.

Loganair’s owners for the past 25 years – Stephen and Peter Bond – have appointed London-based investment bank Arrowpoint Advisory to find a buyer for the company.

The airline employs more than 800 staff and as well as providing lifeline services to the islands, it offers charter flights to the energy industry and operates as the carrier for the Royal Mail’s Highlands and Islands service.

It now counts several major football and Rugby SuperLeague teams amongst its client base for bespoke aircraft charter services.

In 2020 Loganair secured a contract with Babcock for oil and gas flights from Sumburgh, which previously operated from Scatsta Airport.

Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said the company had achieved a number of significant milestones during the Covid recovery phase including becoming the UK’s third busiest airline behind British Airways and easyJet when measured by the number of flights operated.

Four larger ATR72-500 freighter aircraft have been introduced to replace Saab 340 freighters for the new contract, with the older Saab aircraft being retired as part of wider fleet renewal plans.

Repayments of the UK Government-backed CLBILS loan taken out by Loganair with Virgin Money to provide financial stability during the Covid-19 pandemic were made across summer 2022, some nine months ahead of the government closure of the scheme.

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