Loganair is to launch new routes between Stornoway, Glasgow, Aberdeen and London Southend Airport.
The Essex airport which is owned by Stobart Group is an expanding gateway for travel to the capital. Stobart also own Carlisle Airport where Loganair are due to start services soon.
Aberdeen and Glasgow will have three direct flights each way every weekday and a selection of weekend services, operated by Loganair’s Embraer 145 regional jet aircraft. One-stop services will also be introduced from Stornoway to London on Monday to Friday, with one flying north on Sundays. The airline says it is the first direct service from the Hebrides to London.
As passengers will remain on the aircraft during the stop at Glasgow, the ADS discount will apply for the route to London.
Loganair plans to introduce flights from Edinburgh to London Southend later in the year. Ir recently took over collapsed Flybmi's services from Aberdeen to Bristol, Oslo and Esbjerg.
Journey times are just under three hours from Stornoway, one hour and 35 minutes from Aberdeen and fifteen minutes shorter for Glasgow. A 53-minute train service travels directly to London’s Liverpool Street station from Southend Airport.
Last month Loganair announced a five-year ground handling services contract with Stobart Aviation Services at Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Loganair’s managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “We’re incredibly excited to be offering the first new routes between London and Scotland in many years, linking three Scottish airports to London Southend.
"These new fast and frequent flights together with our inclusive checked baggage allowance and on-board service, make this a hugely significant development for both Scotland-London air links and Loganair itself.
“We’re already looking at adding Edinburgh to this portfolio of London routes later in the year.”
Glyn Jones, CEO of Stobart Aviation, said: "With our own railway station just 60 steps from the terminal door, up to six trains an hour into London and our award-winning customer service, we expect these new routes to prove very popular with customers flying to and from Scotland.”
Fares will start from £49.99 one-way to Aberdeen, £39.99 to Glasgow; and £99.99 one-way to Stornoway.
Flights to Aberdeen will start on May 12 and Glasgow and Stornoway services will start on May 28.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the announcement by Loganair of a one-stop service from Stornoway to London Southend on a daily basis except for Saturdays from 27 May.
The additional flights also mean all four of the weekday Glasgow-Stornoway services will be operated by the Embraer aircraft from May.
Loganair also confirmed that they will be offering the Manchester-Stornoway non-stop service again this summer, which will be on Fridays and Sundays through June, July and August on the 37-seat Embraer 135 jet.
Councillor Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said: “The addition of flights direct to London from Stornoway, with those eligible qualifying for ADS, is very much to be welcomed and I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Loganair for these innovative moves.
“The London service will be a very useful addition for both social and business users. It is also good to see the increased usage of the jets on the Glasgow-Stornoway services. I am also pleased that Loganair have confirmed they are to operate the Manchester-Stornoway non-stop service this summer.”
Photograph by Inverness Aviation Photography