Loganair Safeguards Dundee’s Air Service to London

Scotland’s airline Loganair has stepped in to maintain an important domestic air service to the UK capital, London. The regional carrier will introduce a regular service between Dundee and London Stansted from March 30, 2014, replacing the existing CityJet service to London City which is due to be withdrawn at the end of the same month.

The new service, operated by a 32-seat Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft, is the result of weeks of negotiation between Dundee Airport operator HIAL, Dundee City Council, Transport Scotland and the airline. It will be the sole scheduled air service from Dundee and it is understood that as a short-term measure it will be partly funded by the local authority until a sustainable long-term solution can be agreed.  This will likely come through a tender for a Public Service Obligation (PSO) operation that will ensure the long-term future of air services between Dundee and London.

“We are delighted that by working in partnership with Dundee City Council, Transport Scotland and Loganair, we have been able to provide continuity of service between Dundee and London, following the withdrawal of CityJet,” said Inglis Lyon, managing director, HIAL. “Efforts are continuing to secure a Public Service Obligation that would ensure the long term future of services between Dundee and London. However, this is a good solution for the city at this time, and we hope that business and leisure passengers will support the service.”

The flight schedule has been devised with business passengers in mind and will allow those travelling for work to reach the City in good time for an early morning meeting. However, leisure passengers will also enjoy a greater choice of onward connecting airlines and destinations, as well as convenient access to the capital for those heading for a London city break.

The flights will operate twice daily on weekdays, departing Dundee at 7.00am and 4.25pm and returning from London Stansted at 9.00am and 6.25pm, allowing business passengers to complete a full day’s work in London. There will also be a single rotation every Sunday afternoon, leaving Dundee at 4.25pm and departing Stansted at 6.25pm.

The direct air link to London has played an important role in the long-term regeneration of Dundee and a PSO on the route will help maintain this process. “We are all committed to ongoing efforts to secure London services for the future,” said Dundee City Council administration leader Councillor Ken Guild.

Loganair launched its first ever scheduled service in Dundee back in 1963 and the city has been of great importance to the airline ever since and currently employs 23 aircrew and engineering staff who work at the airport. It last served the airport regularly in 2012 when it closed its Belfast City and Birmingham flights, leaving the CityJet London link and a seasonal Ramsay World Travel link to Jersey as the sole air services.

“We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with each of the agencies involved in maintaining this crucial air service,” said Phil Preston, chief operating officer, Loganair. “This route is extremely important to the city of Dundee and we believe our 52 years of aviation experience can help ensure the service to and from Stansted Airport gets off to a strong start.”

In the table below we look in greater detail at passenger demand on the Dundee – London City route over the past ten years, using official traffic data from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). After regularly carrying between 40,000 and 50,000 annual passengers on the route demand slipped in 2011 by 21.9 per cent to just over 31,000 and fell again by a further 11.9 per cent in 2012 below the 30,000 figure. The full year data for 2013 from the CAA has not yet been released but is expected to show a further decline.

SCHEDULED AIR PASSENGER TRAFFIC ON DUNDEE - LONDON CITY ROUTE (terminal and transit passengers; UK CAA)

Year

Passenger Demand

% Change

2012

27,872

(-11.9) %

2011

31,632

(-21.9) %

2010

40,480

(-2.0) %

2009

41,297

3.0 %

2008

40,089

(-18.2) %

2007

48,991

(-2.0) %

2006

50,015

6.8 %

2005

46,832

(-5.5) %

2004

49,575

3.1 %

2003

48,062

5.2 %


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