Flights between Stornoway and Inverness have been cancelled with immediate effect from today (Wednesday 25 March).

News of the cut came to booked passengers last night with emails from Loganair cancelling their flight arrangements. There are no new bookings available on the online system until at least April 20th.

Cancellation of the three-times-a-day service comes on top of previously notified cuts of all Edinburgh flights and some flights to Glasgow.

It means that, from next week, the only air-bridge between the Western Isles and the mainland will be to Glasgow, with two flights a day shared between Stornoway and Benbecula, and the existing service to Barra maintained.

With non-essential travel already forbidden by UK and Scottish Government, those most affected by today’s changes will be hospital patients travelling to Raigmore Hospital for essential treatments and diagnostics. Raigmore is a regional hub serving the Highlands and Islands, with specialisms including oncology and coronary care. Treatments including radiotherapy for people with cancer are delivered at Raigmore to island patients.

Loganair announced today that staffing at their call centre was being reduced to allow for social distancing. Call centre hours are also being reduced.

A spokesman said: “Loganair’s call centre will continue to operate in order to help customers who still need to travel or need help with present or future bookings. The transport sector is seen as vital by the government and we intend to play our part where we safely can.

“We ask customers to be patient and bear with us at this time. Please do not phone our phonelines unless you are travelling within the next seven days as the reduced staffing will be unable to accommodate anything but the most urgent of cases.”