The results of a study into the potential demand for an enhanced Stornoway – Aberdeen air service have been published today (Wednesday 26 November).
Residents, businesses and visitors who travel between Lewis/ Harris and the Aberdeen area were encouraged to take part in an independent online survey on journey needs, and almost 400 responses were received.
The survey, launched in June, is part of a study commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in response to requests from groups in Lewis and Harris for an enhanced air service between Stornoway and Aberdeen. The study, undertaken by consultants ekosgen, in partnership with Reference Economics and RDC Aviation, was based on the survey findings in addition to Civil Aviation Authority data.
The final report indicates there is significant demand for an improved air service between the two regions, demanding both a morning and evening flight, rather than the existing one early afternoon flight. Most demand comes from residents of Lewis and Harris who work outside the islands. In addition to offshore workers, this includes people employed onshore in the oil and gas sector in the Aberdeen area and those in shipping and other sectors.
Tony Jarvis, HIE’s Senior Development Manager for Transport, said: “We would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views through completing this survey. The report has been shared with the operator of the Aberdeen – Stornoway route, Eastern Airways, and discussions are continuing with them regarding the future of the service.”
Kay Ryan, Eastern Airways' Commercial Director, said: "We welcome the feedback from the Outer Hebrides survey and continue to evaluate an enhancement to the route in line with aircraft availability and forecasted passenger demand."
The study can be viewed in full by visiting www.hie.co.uk/airservice