Scottish carrier Loganair has signed a partnership agreement with the world’s largest airline by number of destinations it serves.
Turkish Airlines operates scheduled services to 304 destinations in 122 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
The “interline” agreement will allow customers in the Loganair Highlands and Islands network to book a single ticket, via their travel agent, to long-haul destinations when connecting through Edinburgh Airport – saving on an air passenger duty (APD) charge of as much as £78.
Passengers will have the added advantage of being protected should their connecting flights be disrupted.
Kay Ryan, Loganair’s commercial director said: “This is a deal with one of the biggest names in international air travel, and we see it as the start of a partnership that will develop into a full codeshare agreement later in the year.”
Gokhan Haciibrahimoglu, general manager of Turkish Airlines Scotland, added: “We are pleased to be working with Loganair for our flights operating from Edinburgh Airport, thus giving Turkish Airlines the opportunity to extend its network and better serve Scotland.
“Our partnership will allow our passengers to easily connect with the regional airports of north and west Scotland to 304 destinations and 122 countries.”
The move is the latest in Loganair’s “Better Connected” programme. Deals have already been signed with Air France, KLM, Emirates, Thomas Cook Airlines, giving customers the ability to through-ticket and through-check baggage where flights connect at Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness and Norwich.
Single ticket booking for ongoing flights with more than one carrier offers a number of benefits including through check-in, protected connections in the event of delays and the APD saving on flights from the Highlands and Islands if connecting onwards to long-haul destinations.
It also complements codeshare arrangements Loganair already has in place with British Airways and its partner airlines at Manchester, offering connectivity to transatlantic routes, including Chicago and Philadelphia, with onward connections throughout the US.
In June, Loganair revealed that it had plunged almost £9 million into the red following the break-up of its franchise agreement with Flybe and subsequent competition.
The cost of the Glasgow-based airline “flying solo” again brought a bill of about £3m, while delays in newly-negotiated codeshare agreements with partner airlines and travel agency booking channels going live led to a £2.1m bill.
Most damaging of all, Loganair noted, was the announcement by Flybe that it was entering a new franchise agreement with Eastern Airways and would compete head-to-head on six routes.
Despite the turbulence, Loganair booked turnover of £110.7m, a rise of 7 per cent. Passenger numbers were up 6.2 per cent to an all-time high of 812,541, but the load factor – the percentage of seats filled on scheduled flights – fell from 62.8 per cent to 59.8 per cent, due to overcapacity on routes with Flybe competition.