Derry City and Strabane District Council has confirmed it has agreed to appoint Loganair to operate the London Stansted route from City of Derry Airport.
The announcement comes less than a week since Flybmi went into administration and announced they were no longer able to operate the service.
Welcoming the announcement, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle praised the efforts of officers from Council, the City of Derry Airport and the Department for Transport for their work and commitment throughout the week to secure a replacement airline.
He said news that Loganair are to take over the route is a very positive outcome for the Airport.
“Securing a replacement operator for this important route within such a short period of time is testament to the commitment of Council, the Airport and the Department for Transport to ensure there is air connectivity between Derry and London. This was a very complex process that has now been successfully completed and we are very pleased to be in a position to appoint Loganair to operate this significantly important route,” he said.
As part of the contract, Loganair will operate a twice-daily service from Wednesday 27 February using a 49-seat Embraer 145 jet aircraft. The agreed flight schedule is very similar to the one offered by the previous provider in that it enables commuters from the region to avail of a day return from London and will include two services each weekday and on a Sunday alongside a single Saturday flight.
The Scottish airline already provides a service between Derry and Glasgow five days per week and has a long history of service at City of Derry Airport, its first commercial flight was in April 1979.
Albert Harrison Chairman of CoDA operations welcomed the appointment saying:“ We are absolutely delighted with today’s announcement. The appointment of Loganair to resume the twice daily service from City of Derry Airport to London Stansted is very good news for the Airport and the wider North West region. A direct air link with London is imperative for this region and for our business, leisure and tourism communities.”
Clive Coleman, Regional and City Airport’s Contracts Director said: “We are delighted to have Loganair on board to operate the London Stansted service. Maintaining frequent, conveniently schedule air services to London is vitally important for the airport and for the economic development of the North West City region. We will continue with the positive work we are doing to encourage local passengers to choose the City of Derry Airport when making future travel arrangements. We have fantastic facilities on our doorstep and it is essential that everyone takes advantage of their local airport for their travel plans when possible.”
He added that the Airport is committed to continue with the work to secure other routes to the airport.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “It is a testament to the hard work of Derry and Strabane Council, the City of Derry Airport and my Department that we have been able to secure a replacement airline so quickly. This route is vital because it strengthens the Union, protects choice and boosts trade and travel opportunities – enabling business trips to and from Derry-Londonderry within a day.”
Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s Managing Director said: “We’re extremely pleased to be selected to operate the essential Derry to Stansted air service following completion of a competitive tender process. I know the news about flybmi created great uncertainty, so we’re focused on recommencing operations as quickly as possible.”
“The route is an important link to London with a schedule which has been tailored to the needs of the business community – enabling a full day of work in the capital before an evening flight home. The weekend services will also be attractive to leisure passengers who can chose the length of a short break.”
Lead-in fares between Derry and London Stansted begin at £39.99. All reservations include 20kg of complimentary hold luggage and passengers are eligible to join Loganair’s loyalty programme, Clan Loganair.
Tickets can be booked online at www.loganair.co.uk or by calling 0344 800 2855.