Coronavirus: Loganair plans for recovery with Isle of Man routes

Coronavirus: Loganair plans for recovery with Isle of Man routes

Scottish airline Loganair has said it is planning to “ramp up” flights between the UK and the Isle of Man this summer despite the ongoing pandemic.

Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said the introduction of five new routes was “in anticipation of a progressive recovery” from coronavirus.

There would be a “gradual” increase in flights from April, he added.

The new destinations include Birmingham, Edinburgh, Southampton, Belfast City and Jersey.

Flights from the island to Manchester, Liverpool and Heathrow would also increase between April and July, under the airline’s plans.

A Manx government spokesman said it looked “forward with optimism” to the new routes operating in the summer.

Following a rise in coronavirus cases, the Isle of Man entered a second lockdown last week after six months without community transmission.

In response, the island’s border controls have been raised to the highest level to restrict off-island travel.

Loganair said it was hoping to increase flights to Manchester and Liverpool to two a day from 1 April before rising further on 1 July.

Meanwhile, the Birmingham service would initially operate four days a week from 1 April before transitioning to daily on 22 May.

Similar increases are planned for most routes while the Jersey flight would operate every Saturday between May and September.

Mr Hinkles said the proposal was a “sensible and rational plan” and the airline was prepared to adjust it if tight restrictions continued.

He added that despite Covid-19 hitting the airline industry, Loganair would “be able to cope” financially if it had to delay the services.

The border did not need to be “completely open” before the new routes were implemented, he said.

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