Council secures restoration of flights from Oban to isles

Argyll and Bute Council has come to an agreement with Hebridean Air Services Ltd to resume the Council’s Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes from Oban Airport to the isles of Coll, Tiree and Colonsay.

The announcement comes the day after the Council exhausted discussions with the Administrator for Highland Airways.

This afternoon, Hebridean Air Services has agreed to take over the routes, previously operated by Highland Airways which is now in receivership.

These services include the scholar flights – which bring school pupils from those islands who attend Oban High School, to and from home at weekends when they wish.

The scheduled services will start again on Tuesday 6th April, 2010.

Hebridean Air Services work out of Cumbernauld Airport. They are Britten Norman Islander aircraft specialists and do charter flights.

They occasionally supplied th aircraft G-HEBS to Highland for maintenance cover. The company owners are said to be nice people and they actually tendered for the original route awards against Highland Airways.

They have a seven month contract to operate the services from Oban – and they will be employing the hugely popular and respected former Highland Airways pilot, Julie Angell (one of those appropriate names you couldn’t make up) – so the passengers will be happy.

We don’t yet know what the booking arrangements or schedule will be but we will publish this information when we get it.

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2 Responses to Council secures restoration of flights from Oban to isles

  1. For the sake of employees and those who are dependent upon the services, we must all be pleased that the interruption caused by the demise of Highland Airways has been retreived -at least in the short term.
    However the company has left considerable liabilities behind it, not just in unpaid tax and revenue accounts – a fact that some politicians seem to consider to be acceptable – and it would be foolish to pretend that the matter of their operation does not raise questions that will have to eventually be answered.
    We see that Hebridean Airways, the company stepping into the breach and well respected as operators, tendered for the original service and lost it, presumably, on cost grounds to a company that were more successful at tendering than at operating. Are we to be told what the rescue terms are or is that to be concealed from the electors of Argyll & Bute under the cover of “commercial confidentiality”?
    Serious questions now arise about the entire operation at Oban Airfield and the costs involved in providing the services in operation against alternative ways of providing these.Those who earlier expressed strong reservations about the viability of this project were told to give time for the operation to prove itself. That time has surely now expired.

    With other council services coming under severe scrutiny because of financial constraints some transparency about this operation is surely overdue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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