Loganair has today announced expansion plans from its Orkney base as part of its summer 2023 schedule, with a new route to London among updates to links from Kirkwall Airport.
Within the airline’s summer schedule Kirkwall Airport will also see Edinburgh schedules restored to pre-pandemic levels, while its service to one of the UK's smallest airports - Fair Isle, run by the National Trust for Scotland – will be re-established for the first time since March 2019, and a new same-flight service will see an international connection with Bergen.
Commencing from 4 April 2023, the new service to London City will operate twice weekly on a Tuesday and Friday, providing customers in Orkney with easy access to short breaks or longer stays in the bustling city of London for the first time ever.
The new same-flight service stops over in Dundee en route, however passengers are not required to leave the plane, before landing in London City Airport. Just six miles from central London and three miles from Canary Wharf, London City Airport is thought to be the easiest and most accessible way to travel to London. The three-and-a-half-hour service also provides enhanced connectivity encouraging tourists to visit Orkney.
Additionally, as part of the airline’s summer 2023 plans, Orkney will see its service to Edinburgh restored to pre-pandemic levels with three flights per day including an early morning service departing from Kirkwall Airport at 07:30. The service, which lands in Edinburgh at 08:40, brings enhanced international connecting opportunities from Edinburgh Airport. Meanwhile customers travelling for business or leisure will be able to spend the day in the Scottish capital before travelling home on the evening service, departing from Edinburgh at 18:15. The airline has also announced that its larger 48 seat ATR-42 aircraft will now service the route, increasing capacity from 34 seats on the previous Saab 340.
The airline will also reconnect Orkney with the Fair Isle with a twice weekly service. The island’s only tourist accommodation, Fair Isle Bird Observatory which faced a devastating fire in March 2019, is set to reopen to welcome tourists from next year and as such, Loganair has reinstated its service. Operating on a Monday and Friday, the route also provides same-day connections from Edinburgh and Aberdeen from May 2023.
Orkney’s international weekly service to Bergen will also recommence as part of summer 2023 plans, with a new same-flight service to Norway’s capital. Commencing from 13 May until 26 August, the Saturday service will stop in Sumburgh en route to Bergen, however passengers are not required to leave the plane.
Luke Lovegrove, chief commercial officer at Loganair, said: “We are thrilled to enhance connectivity within our summer 2023 schedule. The new service to London City, as well as the increase in service to Edinburgh, the reinstated route to Fair Isle and the international connection to Bergen, not only bolsters connectivity for the local community but additionally encourages tourists from across the UK and beyond to visit the wonders of Orkney.
Kimberley Fisher, Kirkwall Airport manager, said: “Loganair’s new flights will offer the community more choice when it comes to travel and will also provide additional options for those wishing to visit Orkney, which in turn could provide a boost to the local economy.
“The connection with Edinburgh being restored to pre-pandemic levels and the return of flights to Fair Isle and Bergen, plus the addition of the London service are great indications that the aviation industry is emerging from the pandemic and reacting positively to pent up demand.”
Liam McKay, director of Corporate Affairs at London City Airport, said: “Scotland has always been a core market for London City. Thanks to a new Loganair service to Orkney, our customers can explore further, more easily, and from the heart of London. The island is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression and I'm sure this service will be hugely welcomed by passengers at both ends of the route."
Picture (left to right): Luke Lovegrove, Loganair and Kimberley Fisher, Kirkwall Airport