22 - Feb : 2019

Loganair will take over a key route between London and Northern Ireland following the collapse of Flybmi.

The Scotland-based airline has been selected as the new operator for a subsidised Public Service Obligation contract to secure flights between Stansted and Derry.

Starting on February 27 there will be two flights a day from Sunday to Friday and one on Saturdays.

Loganair also announced it will launch new flights to Derry from Manchester, starting on May 24, using a 49-seat Embraer regional jet.

The airline already operates flights between Derry and Glasgow five days a week, having taken over the route abandoned by Ryanair last year.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has promised the government will continue to subsidise the Stansed - Derry route until 2021.

He said that said securing Loganair was 'testament to the hard work of Derry and Strabane Council, the City of Derry Airport and my department'.

"This route is vital because it strengthens the union, protects choice and boosts trade and travel opportunities , enabling business trips to and from Derry-Londonderry within a day," added Grayling.

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: "We're extremely pleased to be selected to operate the essential Derry to Stansted air service following completion of a competitive tender process.

"I know the news about flybmi created great uncertainty, so we're focused on recommencing operations as quickly as possible.

"The route is an important link to London and the south-east with a schedule which has been tailored to the needs of the business community - enabling a full day of work in the capital before an evening flight home. The weekend services will also be attractive to leisure passengers who can chose the length of a short break.

"Our new Manchester route marks a further expansion of the airline's destination map from Derry, building our relationship with the airport and providing even more choice to customers. With a robust economy and diverse cultural offering, we're excited to connect the two cities."

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