Loganair flies to Heathrow for first time

The Scottish carrier has started operating to Britain’s biggest airport following the closure of London City.

A Loganair aircraft at Heathrow's Terminal 5.

The airline’s first flights to the UK aviation hub in its 58-year history are to maintain a link to London from the Isle of Man.

Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “A sign of the strange times in which we find ourselves - Loganair's first service to Heathrow.

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“This is to where we'll be maintaining the Isle of Man's essential air service to London for British Airways at Terminal 5 over the next month as our normal ‘home’ at London City is closed.”

“The service that Loganair normally operates for BA CityFlyer has been moved to Heathrow temporarily, at least until the end of April.

“London City Airport has closed as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.”

The novel service started as Loganair became one of the main airlines still operating in Scotland.

Easyjet – normally the country’s biggest airline – has grounded all its flights, while others are providing only a skeleton service.

However, Glasgow-based Loganair operated flights to or from its home airport today from Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay, Stornoway and Tiree.

It also flew between Aberdeen and Manchester and Norwich.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today at her daily coronavirus briefing : "We have been working closely with Loganair to make sure we are protecting essential services from our islands to the mainland and also making sure services there for emergency purposes.

“Those discussions continue and we will do everything we can to make sure the company is supported.”

Ms Sturgeon’s backing for the airline followed Mr Hinkles signalling it was likely to follow other airlines in seeking government support.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: “As a provider of lifeline air services, Loganair is unlike other many airlines in that we must continue to fly the lifeline routes on which our customers depend.

‘Unable to suspend our operations’

“It’s critical we do so, and we believe we are well placed to be able to maintain those services throughout the current crisis.

“This position means we are unable to ‘suspend’ our operations and furlough all our employees as other airlines have.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous effect on all UK airlines.

“The [UK] Government has made it clear that it is open to specific requests for support from individual airlines, and whilst Loganair has not yet taken up this invite as we explore all paths, with the unique position we find ourselves, we expect to join other UK airlines in doing so in the coming days.”

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