Loganair will stop operating the Isle of Man-Heathrow route after failing to secure government support


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Loganair will stop all flights between the Isle of Man and Heathrow from Wednesday August 11 after failing to agree on financial support with the Manx government.

Existing connections from Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Jersey will continue to operate.

Kay Ryan, the airline’s commercial director, described it as a “bad surprise” that the government is unwilling to financially support the route.

In a statement, the Isle of Man government said it was “ultimately a business decision”.

The airline started flying from the island after the Flybe collapse in March 2020 and the route to Heathrow began in November 2020.


FULL STATEMENTS

Kay Ryan, Commercial Director of Loganair

“We regret having to make this decision to cancel the Heathrow service and also very much regret the inconvenience caused to our customers.

The sharp rise in operating costs for operating London’s premier airport, coupled with the slower-than-expected rebound in passenger numbers after the pandemic, means the route is not viable unless it benefits financial support from the Isle of Man government.

We were made to understand that the connectivity we can provide through codeshare agreements with our international airline partners at Heathrow was of vital importance to the island community, and so it came as a nasty surprise that the government of the Isle of Man has no continuing requirements for the route.

In the meantime, we fully intend to support local employment and the local business supply chain by continuing our other services from the island, and we hope to maintain vital air links for the patient transport service of the island to Liverpool hospitals.

Our Manchester service is outfitting up to twice a day starting August 31 and will be scaling up to four daily flights by summer 2022 as planned.

We hope that as international connectivity rebuilds after the pandemic, Manchester can become the essential international travel hub for the Isle of Man. “


Isle of Man government statement

“Loganair provided invaluable support to the Isle of Man during the pandemic, as the choice to purchase flights to Heathrow ensured connectivity to and through London.

This was an important strategic decision taken at an opportune time and considered essential in the economic and social interest of the island.

The resumption of commercial flights to the south-east of England means the Isle of Man government is now expected to step back and allow the aviation industry to meet demand in a competitive market.

The cancellation of passenger flights is of course unfortunate and will lead to some disappointment, but it is ultimately a business decision.

Loganair remains an important part of the future of Island aviation and we look forward to strengthening our positive working relationship. “

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