Bid to replace Leeds-Bradford air link to Scotland

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: LBIA commercial director Tony Hallwood LBIA commercial director Tony Hallwood

Bosses at Leeds-Bradford International Airport are trying to find another airline to maintain daily flights to Edinburgh, which are due to be axed from Friday.

Operator BMI Regional, recently taken over by International Airlines Group, which owns BA and Iberia, said services to the Scottish capital would be suspended from April 27 due to low demand.

Meanwhile, a small Scottish airline has stepped in to rescue services between LBIA and Glasgow, and BMI said its flights to Brussels would also continue.

A BMI spokesman said passengers booked on Edinburgh or Glasgow flights after April 27 will be offered a choice of a full refund or an alternative route.

Tony Hallwood, LBIA commercial director, said airport chiefs were actively seeking a replacement airline to provide flights between West Yorkshire and Edinburgh.

“While I can confirm that services to Edinburgh are being suspended by BMI Regional, we are on the case and actively seeking an alternative operator to continue services on that route.”

Cancellation of Edinburgh flights is the latest blow for LBIA, which axed connections with London Heathrow in 2009. A service to Gatwick airport operated by regional airline Flybe was also ended last year, leaving Yorkshire’s main airport with no direct links to the capital.

Mr Hallwood said efforts continued to try and find a way of restoring London services.

The service between Leeds-Bradford Airport and Glasgow has been saved, with Scottish airline Loganair stepping in to replace BMI as the route operator.

The move will safeguard business links and open up connections to the Scottish Islands through Loganair’s Glasgow airport hub .

In addition to weekday flights, Loganair will also reintroduce a Sunday service between Leeds-Bradford and Scotland after a gap of several years. It will launch two flights each weekday from May 8 and also introduce a Sunday evening service in each direction from September 2.

Loganair is also cutting business fares by ten per cent below those charged by British Midland .

There will be flight departures from Glasgow at 07:10 and 17:15 return flights from Leeds-Bradford at 08:45 and 18:50 on weekdays. Sunday evening services from September 2 will operate at the same time as weekday flights, and the airline will consider increasing the frequency of weekday services if there is demand for more flights.

Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted to be announcing the launch of services between these two airports. Loganair has every confidence that its successful formula will revitalise this crucial air service between Scotland and West Yorkshire and help to ensure that business links between these regions are maintained and developed.”

Loganair operates its scheduled services under a franchise agreement with regional airline Flybe, which also operates flights from Yeadon.

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