While most of the UK’s airlines work either on the low-cost model or focus on holiday destinations Loganair is very different. It’s a regional airline with a focus on Shetland, Orkney and the Hebrides in Scotland where its services are vital for many smaller communities. It operates a fleet of small aircrafts and regional jets, such as Twin Otters, BN-2’s, Saab 340’s, Embraer 135’s and 145’s.
I woke up at 06.15, I had breakfast at 06.45, I left my accommodation at 07.00 and I got to the airport at 07.30 for my departure scheduled at 08.15. The terminal is small, practical, not crowded and easy to use
There were no queues at check-in this morning
Waiting area landside
Used books available to read free of charge – this airport is really a friendly place
I had a look at the departure board when I arrived
I was informed at check in that the flight would leave one hour later at 09.15 due to a technical issue. No problem, I have time.
I cleared security at no time and I had an excellent cappuccino airside
Passengers were informed later that the flight would leave at 10.15. No problem, I could write my flight reports.
We were informed at about 10.00 that the flight left but diverted to Aberdeen and was therefore cancelled. I was rebooked on the flight at 15.10. With a flight time of only 20 minutes I still had a chance to get my connecting flight to Papa Westray and Westray.
I rented a car and I went for some more sightseeing in the rain.
The road crosses the runway. I like it!
I found these fantastic beaches that could be just as well in Seychelles.
Shetland Crofthouse (farmhouse) Museum
I had a good lunch at Sumburgh Hotel near the airport, dropped off my rental car – and I saw that my flight was delayed until 16.40 which meant I would miss my flights to the small islands. Although my Edinburgh to Shetland to Orkney to Edinburgh and my Orkney to Westray to Papa Westray and back to Orkney flights were on separate bookings and therefore the airlines was technically not responsible for the connection the very helpful agent managed to rebook my small flights to the next morning and arranged accommodation for me in Kirkwall on the airline’s expense. I was very grateful, not so much because of the cost of the hotel but because how helpful she was.
I had a lot of time to work. Flightradar24 indicated that my flight had already left but it was actually another flight to Aberdeen. 16.40 came and there was no sign of boarding, no information at the airport.
Boarding was eventually at 17.05.
The aircraft was also a Saab 340.
I was first seated at 3A which has no window. As the cabin crew saw I wanted to take photos I was moved to seat 2A (which is actually 1A) which was supposed to be a crew seat on this flight. Thank you!
An expected flight time of 25 minutes was announced. We left our parking position at 17.20 and took off at 17.25 for a scheduled departure time of 15.40.
The end of the runway
Views during take-off
The weather was awful outside with almost zero visibility. There was no service during this short flight.
A nice beach on Orkney shortly before landing
We landed at 17.58 and we were at our parking position at 18.00 for a scheduled arrival time of 16.20.
The terminal from outside
There were no taxis available at the airport. I had to call one – the phone numbers for the taxi companies were displayed inside. The cab came ten minutes later. The driver mistook himself for Michael Schumacher and his old Skoda Octavia for a Ferrari and the short taxi ride seemed much more dangerous for me than the flight in the extremely poor weather conditions.
Orkney is a beautiful place. With a total area of 990 square kms for all islands and 532 square kms for Orkney Mainland, the population is only 22,200 people (17,000 for Orkney Mainland). The population density is low: even Kirkwall is just a small town and most other areas are farmlands. There’s nevertheless quite a lot to see.
First of all you have fantastic beaches. You would think you’re at the Seychelles would the weather be warmer.
St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, originally from 1137
Stromness is a charming small town
Skara Brae is a Neolothic village
Skaill House right next to it is a historic manor house with absolutely interesting interiors
A lot of farmlands everywhere
Shetland - LSI
Orkney Islands - KOI
I was planning to arrive to Orkney at 9 in the morning but I arrived at 6 in the evening. This is a huge delay of 9 hours but we all know that delays can and do happen in aviation. The difference is how airlines deal with these delays. By rebooking my next day’s flights and offering accommodation even if they didn’t have to Loganair employees proved that their airline does not only treat passengers as cost and revenue but there’s a real care.
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