Loganair reported that passenger numbers on its scheduled routes to and from Shetland reached the highest level since the Covid-19 pandemic in July.

The Scottish airline expected to carry 16,400 passengers on its routes to and from Shetland last month, which it said was driven by strong demand from visitors and sailing crews for the Tall Ships Race.

The carrier said passenger numbers will be around 10% higher versus July 2022 – the previous busiest month since Covid-19 – and nearing levels seen in July 2019 when 16,706 passengers flew with Loganair on its scheduled flights to and from Shetland.

Shetland tourism

Alongside visitors for the Tall Ships Race, the airline has also worked to develop new incoming tourism business to the Scottish Islands from US visitors, helped by a record number of non-stop flights from the USA to Edinburgh this year to provide easier access to Scotland.

Amongst the routes recording growth are the key link to Aberdeen, now served by Loganair’s larger 72-seat ATR72 aircraft, where passenger numbers are up by 20% versus last July.

New larger aircraft have also been introduced in the last month to the majority of Sumburgh’s services to Glasgow and to Inverness via Kirkwall, as the airline nears completion of its multi-million-pound investment programme to replace its ageing Saab 340 aircraft with larger ATR turboprops to future-proof air services throughout the Highlands and Islands.

Extra flights and more seats

Loganair’s Chief Executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “Loganair is delighted to be supporting Shetland’s efforts to host the Tall Ships Race, with extra flights and more seats laid on, together with logistical support for key functions in the performing arts and ships’ crew change sectors which form part of the hosting.

“Major events such as these underpin our year-round commitment to Shetland’s air services and our local employment at Sumburgh Airport, where Loganair employs a team of 36 to look after both our scheduled flights and regular flights delivering Shetland’s mail and servicing the offshore energy industry.”
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