Loganair has been awarded the contract to operate the world’s shortest scheduled flight following a competitive tendering process for the North Isles air service.
Issued by the Orkney Islands Council, the contract means the airline will continue to provide the air-link between Westray and Papa Westray, a journey which can be as short as 47 seconds, officially qualifying it as the world’s shortest scheduled flight. Loganair will also be responsible for other air services between the Orkney mainland and Papa Westray, North Ronaldsay, Westray, Sanday, Stronsay and Eday.
The contract will run for three years, from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2016, with an additional option for a further 12-month extension period up until 31 March 2017.
Three bids were received for the Air Services Public Service Obligation Contract (PSO). All were assessed against a number of operational and service requirements. These included set up arrangements, best quality of customer service, service frequency and fare structure, and service resilience. The costs associated with these requirements were then assessed for each bid before the final decision on awarding the contract was made
Phil Preston, chief operating officer at Loganair, said:
“We’re delighted to be awarded the contract to operate the North Isles air service, extending our involvement in the islands up until at least March 2016. It’s also a great privilege to maintain operations on one of the world’s most famous routes, linking two island’s while being a milestone for the many aviation enthusiasts who travel from far and wide to complete the journey. We’re extremely proud of the vital services we offer to the island communities of Orkney and look forward to continuing to demonstrate the highest standards when carrying out this life line role.“
Loganair has operated the Orkney inter-island service since 1967. Using Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander planes, the service connects the Orkney Islands, transporting teachers and pupils to school, food, mail and banking supplies as well as patients to hospital.
Councillor Graham Sinclair, Vice-Chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said:
“The competitive tendering process is important in ensuring value for money. We received three bids to operate these important transport links and, against stiff competition, Loganair was awarded the contract after submitting the most economically advantageous tender. North Isles communities have been served by Loganair for many years and now the outcome of the selection process has been decided, I’m sure the continuity of service will be welcomed by residents.”
(Image via CC BY 3.0)