The first flights of Loganair’s new Glasgow to Derry service took to the sky on Sunday night as the airline graced the tarmac of the Northern Irish airport for the first time in 10 years.
Previous carrier, Ryanair, operated its last trip on Friday, with Loganair commencing operations five days per week. The last time the Scottish Airline landed in the City of Derry Airport was 19 October 2008.
The maiden service was met by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, with passengers presented with a certificate and enjoying live entertainment to mark the occasion.
Loganair established the first air-link between Glasgow and Derry back in 1979, the inaugural transport provider to serve the airport.
Operating five days per week, Loganair is utilising a 33-seat Saab 340 aircraft on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a larger, 50-capacity Saab 2000 aircraft used for Sunday evening services.
Services will depart Glasgow at 10.55am on Mondays and Saturdays, arriving in Derry 50 minutes later at 11.45am. The return trip from Derry is airborne at 12.15pm.
The Thursday, Friday and Sunday services leave Glasgow at 6.55pm, with return flights leaving Northern Ireland’s second largest city at 8.15pm. Passengers from Derry can also connect to Loganair’s extensive network of international destinations via its partner airlines which include British Airways, KLM, Air France, Thomas Cook and Emirates.
Loganair’s 12th destination from Glasgow Airport, the airline has also operated new services to Guernsey and Donegal this year.
Kay Ryan, Loganair’s Commercial Director said: “Loganair has a relationship with City of Derry Airport which spans across three decades, so everyone is extremely excited to have the route in our network map once again.
“The cities and their populations share very close connections, and this is being reflected via ticket sales. Whether it is family ties or football teams, business or leisure, this is a popular link in both the West of Scotland and Derry.
“We’re also pleased to be able to offer onward connections through Glasgow with our large network of airline partnerships including Emirates, KLM, Air France and Thomas Cook, allowing for global travel, often on one-ticket.”
Mrs Charlene Shongo, Airport Manager for City of Derry Airport stated: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Scottish Airline, Loganair, back to City of Derry Airport – this is a very welcome boost for both the Airport and the wider North West region.
The new Loganair route to Glasgow International will operate five times per week on a Saab 340 and Saab 2000 aircraft, and then move to an Embraer jet in 2019.
“The service has already proven very popular with business and leisure travellers throughout the North West with Loganair indicating strong sales to date; as well as acting as a catalyst for in-bound tourism to the region, offering more choice to prospective visitors travelling from Scotland. We look forward to working with Loganair, to maximise the promotion of this new service. The importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights is critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.”
Lead-in fares for the route begin at £49.99 each way and all Loganair tickets include a 20kg complimentary baggage allowance and in-flight refreshments. Extra flights will be added around key travel times including Christmas and New Year to meet demand.