New partnership brings boost for UK regional air connectivity
Publish date: 25 Nov 2021
A new partnership between leading UK regional airlines Aurigny, Blue Islands and Loganair will take off in 2022 as the airlines widen their working relationship to offer a wider range of seamless travel connections across their route networks; aim to coordinate their benefits for frequent flyers; and launch a new programme of co-operation to harness their collective buying power.
Existing partnerships between Blue Islands and Aurigny, and Loganair and Blue Islands, will be strengthened and a new partnership for connecting flights linking the networks of Loganair and Aurigny will be introduced. This will open-up a wide range of connections to and from Guernsey in particular, offering new connections to the north of England, Scotland and the Isle of Man at airports via including Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham where the airlines’ networks meet. Existing links between the Loganair and Blue Islands networks – centred on Southampton and Manchester today – will also be expanded. New one-stop connections such as Aberdeen to Guernsey and Isle of Man to the Channel Islands will provide frequent, year-round travel options on a single ticket.
Each of the airlines operates its own frequent flyer programme and an early objective is to align the programmes so that customers can earn and redeem benefits across all three airlines’ services. Clan Loganair, Aurigny’s FrequentFlyer and Blue Islands’ Blue Skies Club will remain independent programmes, but the ability to earn and redeem points will offer a far greater range of routes and flights for customers.
Between them, the three airlines operate 54 aircraft and are responsible for maintaining services to a host of regional communities ranging from the Channel Islands to the Shetland Islands, serving a total of 40 airports throughout the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The airlines jointly have been serving the UK market for over 150 years – with Loganair (founded in 1962), Aurigny (founded in 1968) and Blue Islands (founded in 1999) being three of the UK’s longest-established regional airlines.
The synergies and benefits for customers will be complemented by a new programme of co-operation between the airlines on technical and purchasing matters. The European-built, environmentally conscious ATR turboprop aircraft forms the backbone of the fleet for all three airlines, and there are several areas of potential co-operation ranging from major maintenance checks, purchasing of aircraft spares, and training of pilots and engineers which are expected to provide genuine operational and cost efficiencies for the airline trio. They will also be working to use buying power collectively across their operations in areas such as the purchasing of fuel and ground handling.
Loganair’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Hinkles, said: “We’re delighted to be building on our partnership with Blue Islands, and we warmly welcome Aurigny – a long-standing airline with an exemplary track record of serving its communities – as a new Loganair partner. Working together will offer wider choice for customers and I’m heartened to see excellent progress already being made across areas of technical co-operation between the three airlines.”
Commenting on the initiative, Rob Veron, CEO Blue Islands said “The simple aim of this initiative is to make air travel across the UK easier and to offer more choice. By working together on a national network we will help make travel for business or to visit friends and family a better experience – wherever you live in the British Isles.”
Nico Bezuidenhout, Aurigny’s CEO said “By combining effort in the interest of improved passenger journeys, and through cooperation to the benefit of input efficiencies, the travelling public stand to gain from a more comprehensive and robust air transport offering, whilst simultaneously leaving the respective airlines better-placed to operate in a world where sustainability, reliability and customer-centricity make all the difference.”