Loganair turns a profit from Suckling
A LOSS-MAKING airline that was once part of Sir Brian Souter’s transport empire has been turned around under new owner Loganair.
The Paisley-based carrier bought Suckling Airways in July 2011 from Merlyn Suckling, who founded the airline in 1986 in Cambridge with her late husband, Roy.
Souter, chief executive of Perth-based transport group Stagecoach, and his sister, Ann Gloag, bought a 90 per cent stake in Suckling in 1999 for £5 million and sold it back to its founders in 2006 for a reported £10m.
Suckling Airways operated scheduled services from Dundee and Edinburgh to London city airport under the ScotAirways brand until 2007.
Scott Grier, chairman and controlling shareholder at Loganair, said that “struggling” Suckling had racked up a £1m loss between 1 August and 31 March, having also made “substantial losses” in the run-up to the sale.
But he said the airline was now back in the black and was expected to post a profit of £500,000 in its current financial year on the back of £10m in revenues.
Grier said he had diversified Suckling’s work, including taking on charter flights for Danish and Swedish carriers, allowing his group to enter the European market for the first time.
He added: “Not everyone thought acquiring a loss-making English airline was a great idea, but the acquisition has now been vindicated. I’m very pleased. We’ve turned the company around in a very short space of time. It is now in profit – a small profit, but a profit just the same.”
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