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News: Loganair takes flybmi routes

Loganair is to take over at least six routes previously operated by flybmi, which collapsed last weekend leaving passengers stranded across Europe. The Scottish carrier pick up services from Aberdeen to Bristol, and Bristol to Oslo and Esbjerg, from March 4. It will add links from Newcastle to Stavanger and Brussels on March 25.

Two of flybmi's Embraer jets were transferred to Loganair last year. (The Aviation Oracle)

On February 21, it was announced that Loganair will also take on the government-subsidised twice-daily route between London Stansted and Londonderry in Northern Ireland from February 27. John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council described the award of the operation to Loganair as a "very positive outcome" for the airport. He continued: "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."

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling added: "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."

Jonathan Hinkles, managing director of Loganair 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."

flybmi shut down on February 16, citing rising fuel costs and Brexit uncertainty as causes of its losses. It operated 17 Embraer regional jets on 25 routes across Europe. The airline had been struggling for some time, had received cash injections from its owners, and was seen as particularly vulnerable to a 'no deal' Brexit due to the range of intra-European services it flew. Passengers who had booked tickets with the carrier were advised to contact their credit card issuers or travel agents to obtain refunds.

Editorial opinion: The collapse of an airline is always difficult for employees and passengers. When flybmi ceased operating, Jonathan Hinkles. Loganair’s managing director said: "It’s always really sad to see an airline go out of business, and our thoughts are with all those affected – particularly staff members. We are evaluating Flybmi’s wider network and assessing routes which align with Loganair’s distinct geographical area and overall strategic plans. We are also working on employment opportunities for pilots, cabin crew and engineering support staff to strengthen the Loganair team."