Eastern faces a battle in the skies to serve key oil routes

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 13 May 2019

Eastern Airways is facing increased competition in the North East after rival Loganair launched on two routes it currently serves from Aberdeen.

The company - owned by bankruptcy-filing Bristow Group, though protected from the action - has recently canned a new service between Aberdeen, Newcastle and London, after just four months.

Norwich and Newcastle will be served by Glasgow-based Loganair from September.

CANCELLED: Eastern and Flybe's London City Airport link from Aberdeen, via Newcastle. 

It has prompted a war of words across the airport apron, with price competition on the vital oil and gas-supporting routes emerging. 

Kay Ryan, a former Eastern executive is now working for Loganair, with the company suggesting the launch was due to "market dissatisfaction" with the Kirmington-headquartered operator.

She said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer more choice to travellers between Aberdeen, Newcastle and Norwich. Data concerning the current operator’s reliability between Aberdeen and Newcastle has been rather poor, which is frustrating for customers given the importance of reliability on this route."

Civil Aviation Authority data is quoted, but it has emerged Loganair has had a part to play, operating on Eastern's behalf in part. It said on the Aberdeen to Newcastle route, almost a quarter of flights in 2018 were cancelled with only two thirds departing on time.

FORMER ROLE: Kay Ryan in her Eastern Airways days, prior to becoming commercial director at Loganair.

A spokesperson for Eastern said: "Following on from recent announcements by Loganair on their new route launches and in this day and age of high stress and concern about everything from Brexit to the environment, it was good to see some comedy introduced by our friends at Loganair which lightened the mood somewhat.

"The new routes and criticism around performance directed at Eastern Airways actually encompasses Loganair who already operate one of these ‘new’ routes on our behalf following on from its sister company FlyBMI who also operated the route on our behalf.

"It is good to see ‘Scotland’s favourite airline’ with the English owners and senior management team, putting to good use its manipulated position on being unencumbered with the debt of its sister company following the planned merger with FlyBMI by recreating the same operating environment again, curious planning for sure but cause for a celebratory chuckle all the same."  

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