Loss of Loganair’s Birmingham and Dublin routes will have a ‘seriously detrimental effect’
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
Politicians and business leaders have been reacting to the loss of Loganair’s Inverness to Birmingham and Dublin routes with the airline blaming “soft market conditions” and higher air traffic controller costs.
The Highland’s main airport at Dalcross run by Hial has struggled to persuade airlines to maintain service frequency since the end of the pandemic with BA being among those to cut some routes.
The airline confirmed in a statement that the Inverness-Birmingham route will cease operation on January 5 while Inverness to Dublin will come to an end some time in the summer of 2024.
That will take a heavy toll on local businesses making it more difficult to travel beyond the region as well as to visit trade shows or go abroad to increase investment as well as of course delivering visitors to the north.
Colin Marr, the chief executive of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, said: “Loganair is an important airline for the Highlands and, in addition to their essential services to the Scottish Islands, have done a great job in expanding our access to other cities.
“The loss of these two routes will have a seriously detrimental effect for both business and personal travel. Birmingham is a popular business route for both the area itself and is also used by some business travellers for their fast train services to attend London meetings.
“Ireland is a hugely important export market for Scotland in its own right but also for its easy access to European markets. For Inverness to lose direct flights to Dublin not only affects current business travel but will also affect future business growth. Both routes are also popular with inbound tourists so there will be a further impact on our hospitality businesses.”
Politicians have been weighing in as well with Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant saying: “It is disappointing that these flights will end as they provided Highlands and Islands residents with variety in their travel options.
“This is especially the case for the Dublin flight as this is a key airport for international travel. I appreciate that times are difficult for organisations such as Loganair but hopefully, with inflation lowering, more people will be travelling for leisure and there will be a much needed bounce back for the industry as a whole.”
Highlands Conservative MSP Edward Mountain: “Reducing flights from Inverness sends completely the wrong signal. The Highlands needs good connections and I am saddened that NATS could not help by reducing the overheads for these services.
“Passengers will rightly be disappointed and I hope Loganair will help them find viable alternative ways to travel.”
While business owner and councillor, Helen Crawford: “I know as a retailer that many independent retailers across The Highlands rely on this specific service to attend the UK’s biggest retail trade show twice a year.
“It’s when we see new products and often place our biggest orders. It’s also where many Scottish makers show their products to the widest possible market. And I can only imagine the impact on other businesses, tourism, jobs and families who rely on the service.
“The alternative is a nine hour train journey. Frankly, if trains were faster and cheaper, most folk would opt for that. But they are not, so sadly the train is not a viable option for many. I sincerely hope that this route will be picked up by another operator, even if it’s on a reduced offering.”