Loganair to drop ‘unviable’ Isle of Man-Heathrow route

Loganair is cancelling floghts between the Isle of Man and Heathrow route from August 11.

The decision by the regional carrier comes after the Isle of Man government was unable to agree essential financial support for the service beyond the end of July.

Loganair started the route at the last November with a 49-seat Embraer 145 jet, maintaining connectivity for the island with destinations worldwide, after previously operating a service from London City airport on behalf of BA CityFlyer.

It was the first time the Scottish airline had operated a scheduled service to Heathrow and followed successful moves by Loganair to secure runway slots at the London hub.

Loganair maintained the Isle of Man’s passenger air services following the demise of Flybe and the introduction of Covid-19 lockdowns in March 2020 and operates routes from the island to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Jersey.

The airline employs pilots and cabin crew based in the Isle of Man and contracts the maintenance of its aircraft to local company M&A Technical Services, which is based at the island’s Ronaldsway Airport.

Chief commercial officer Kay Ryan said: “We regret having to take this decision to cancel the Heathrow service and also very much regret the inconvenience to our customers.

“The sharp rise in costs of operating services at London’s premier airport coupled to the slower-than-expected rebound in passenger numbers after the pandemic mean that the route is not viable unless it has financial support from the Isle of Man government.

“We were given to understand the connectivity we can provide via codeshare agreements with our international airline partners at Heathrow was of vital importance to the island community, and it has therefore come as an unwelcome surprise that the Isle of Man government foresees no continuing requirement for the route.

“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 continue vital air links for the island patient travel service to Liverpool hospitals.

“Our Manchester service gears up to twice daily from 31 August, and will increase to four daily flights by summer 2022 as planned.

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

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