Falkirk MSP welcomes survival of ‘Scotland’s airline’

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Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has slammed the collapse of airline Flybmi as “another Brexit calamity”, while welcoming the fact that Loganair isn’t involved.

Flybmi, which said Brexit considerations were among its problems, is controlled by the Airline Investments Limited (AIL) Group which also controls Loganair.

Flybmi said yesterday its decision to fold was unavoidable, commenting: “The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit”.

The company added: “Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe.

“Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.

“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40 million in the last six years”.

Loganair has said it expects to return to profit in the current financial year, and that it is carrying record passenger numbers on many of its routes and is in a strong financial position.

It is said to be working on ways of offering some bmi regional employees a job, while “monitoring developments” elsewhere in Britain’s regional airline sector which could present opportunities.

Mr MacDonald said: “Good to see this morning Flybmi’s sister airline Loganair stating that ‘Scotland’s airline’ is a separate company and is in a strong trading position as it expands with flights from Edinburgh to Stavanger and Bergen, amongst others this year.

“This will be a relief to many in Scotland, not least a number of my constituents in Falkirk East who work for Loganair, based in Glasgow”.