Inverness flights affected as Loganair reduces services following drop in bookings amid coronavirus outbreak
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A NUMBER of flights from Inverness have been affected as a result of airline Loganair operating a reduced service from next week.
The move follows a dramatic 75 per cent drop in bookings during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result the Scottish airline will halve the number of its flights and, as a result, the new Inverness to Birmingham route will be suspended until the end of May and the service to Manchester will operate a reduced timetable of two flights a day.
Services between Inverness and Kirkwall will also be suspended until May 31, two daily Saab 340 flights from the city to Stornoway and Inverness to Sumburgh services also suspended over the same period.
The Inverness to Dublin will be suspended from Monday, until 31 May, and services in Wick will cease on Friday, March 27.
Across the board it represents an increased reduction of 55 per cent from the planned 20 per cent cut until the end of May.
Staff will be asked to reduce their hours by a fifth and 10 of the airline’s 40 aircraft will be placed in storage.
Loganair chief executive, Jonathan Hinkles, said: "The coronavirus situation has worsened materially in the last four days, and we have now seen forward bookings fall by around 75 per cent versus their usual levels.
"From the end of next week, we will be implementing an emergency timetable, which will reduce our operations from around 214 to 95 scheduled flights each weekday – a cut of 55 per cent.
"We expect this to be a temporary reduction and we are implementing this until the end of May but may have to extend that timescale as the situation continues to develop.
"Importantly, we will maintain lifeline services to the island communities we serve but will be forced to do so with reduced frequency.
"The situation is incredibly serious and alongside the obvious health and safety implications, puts the future of the entire aviation industry in jeopardy.
"With this in mind, we have joined with other UK carriers to seek emergency measures from the Government to support all airlines in the sector."
Full refunds will be available where services are suspended and passengers will be able to change their reservation without charge – unless the new flight costs more.
Mr Hinkles said: "We are working hard to avoid redundancies and lay-offs as have already been seen at major international airlines and as are likely to follow at several UK airlines in the coming days."
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