Loganair to stop operating Isle of Man to Heathrow route after failing to gain government support

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Airline bosses hope that Manchester will now act as the essential international travel hub for the Isle of Man.

Loganair will be stopping all flights between the Isle of Man and Heathrow from Wednesday 11th August after failing to agree financial support with the Manx Government.

The existing routes from Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Jersey will continue operating.

Kay Ryan, Chief Commercial Officer of the airline has described it as an "unwelcome surprise" that the government is unwilling to financial support the route.

In a statement the Isle of Man Government said it was 'ultimately a commercial decision'.

The airline began flying from the Island following the collapse of Flybe in March 2020 and the route to Heathrow started in November 2020.


FULL STATEMENTS

Loganair Chief Commercial Officer Kay Ryan

"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.

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 continue vital airlinks 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."


Isle of Man Government Statement

"Loganair provided much valued support for the Isle of Man during the pandemic, as choosing to underwrite flights to Heathrow ensured connectivity to and through London.

This marked an important strategic decision taken at an appropriate time and was regarded as essential in the Island’s economic and social interest.

The resumption of commercial flights to the South East of England mean the Isle of Man Government should now step away and allow the aviation sector to cater for demand in a competitive marketplace.

The cancellation of passengers’ flights is, of course, regrettable and will lead to some disappointment, but is ultimately a commercial decision.

Loganair remain an important part of the Island’s aviation future and we look forward to building on our positive working relationship."