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Old 27th Oct 2002, 09:31
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Loganair & BMI fly on the 'Sabbath'

BBC reporting disquiet amongst the Hebrideans at plans to operate a service into Stornoway;

Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 00:05 GMT 01:05 UK
Turbulent take-off for historic flight

The service has sparked controversy

History will be made in the Hebrides when the first ever Sunday flight lands on the Isle of Lewis.
The Loganair service has provoked controversy on the island where supporters say it is essential to the local economy, but detractors have attacked an unwelcome breach of the Sabbath.

The opponents of the Sunday service, led by the church in the strictly religious Western Isles, pleaded for locals to preserve the traditional way of life.

The Lord's Day Observance Society, which campaigns for the sanctity of the Sabbath, said islanders had been "trampled" upon with the decision to introduce Sunday flights.

Attempts to introduce a Sunday ferry were blocked

Calum Maclean, secretary for the Lewis and Harris branch, said: "We can't say to people to boycott the flights as it is up to individuals to decide whether they want to use the service on a Sunday.

"But what we would say is that if people and businesses want to preserve the Sabbath on the island, don't use it.

"These Sunday flights are a breach of God's law and will have an adverse effect on the whole community life on this island as we know it. This is only the start."

Mr Maclean was speaking on the eve of Loganair's new passenger service to Stornoway.

Public demand

The flight is due to touch down in the early afternoon, but people arriving on the island will find public services and businesses closed.

The move has prompted fears that ferries, buses and taxis could follow suit, threatening the traditional way of life on the remote island.

And those fears were heightened when a second airline, British Midland, recently announced it was starting a seven-day Edinburgh to Stornoway service from Monday.

Mr Maclean added: "People feel these flights have been imposed on them without any consultation whatsoever."

The church is opposed to the service

He also suggested a survey of 150 businesses on the island revealed that two-thirds were against Sunday flights.

Mr Maclean, however, did not believe there would be repeat scenes from 1965 when major protests were held against Sunday ferry sailings to Skye.

Loganair bosses have defended their decision to introduce the Sunday flights, which they have been considering for some time to meet demand.

A single Saab 340 34-seater plane will leave from Stornoway twice on Sunday afternoons.

It will operate from Inverness to Stornoway, Stornoway to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Stornoway and Stornoway to Inverness.

An average of 25,000 passengers use the Monday to Saturday Loganair services from Stornoway annually.

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Old 27th Oct 2002, 12:25
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Gdday Mate!

Hiya PP,

This really winds me up this subject, having used to be a helicopter crew and working out on the western isles from time to time on a sunday they were no use to us whatsoever and when we walked into a pub at night it was like we were dressed up as Mr Blobby, they just turned round and gave us a dirty look.

Its time these guys put aside there beliefs and realise that they are getting air services, l mean now its never been easier to get to the Western Isles with Loganair, BACX, Highland Airways and now BMI so come on islanders give these guys a chance..........l guess if it doesnt work the airlines will stop it.

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Old 27th Oct 2002, 16:49
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Funny thing is that the islanders can protest as much as they like from Monday till Saturday at midnight, but when it really matters (ie Sunday) they are not allowed to protest!! Unlucky!!
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Old 28th Oct 2002, 10:16
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Good job somebody works on a Sunday there, or they'd have no mains power/water etc, not to mention the odd air ambulance etc etc. Get a life guys.
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Old 28th Oct 2002, 19:02
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Corsaman, its you who needs to take your own advice methinks. What right do you, or indeed anyone else have to dictate how people choose to lead their life?

Whilst I do not agree with the 'no sunday working' ethos, it is up to the good people of those beautiful islands to decide. I doubt you have ever been there or have any idea of the culture...
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Old 28th Oct 2002, 22:10
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Meeb - having lived AND worked there, I have first hand experience of the influence the Wee Frees have over the islanders in Lewis.
You will note that all the public opposition to the Sunday flight and Ferry services has been exclusively voiced by senior or influential members of the Wee Free churches, not a single opinion of the ordinary islander has been publicly aired.
This is because the Wee Frees are terrified that they will lose their dictatorial grip, which I am pleased to say, is being rapidly eroded.
It is refreshing to see that the residents of Lewis and Harris are being allowed to exercise their right to freedom of choice, to do what they want on a Sunday, be it go to church, go for a walk, or catch a plane.

The facts are that this part of the Western Isles will not lose it's charm and unique environment simply because they've now joined the real world, in fact, commercially, I don't think it will make that much difference. What it may mean, is that the area will not lose it's best youngsters who seek better educational and infinately better career oportunities to the mainland.

Those retailers who want to open up and sell Sunday papers will do so, they'll be well patronised, and even if they and their customers are given the cold shoulder by the church, I guess they learn to live with it.

The Wee Frees and other such intolerant religous organisations should concentrate on adapting themselves to a changing world, and perhaps look at the mess in their own back yards before dictating to others as to what they can or cannot do.
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Old 29th Oct 2002, 10:01
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To (mis) quote 'Dads' Army's Private Fraser:

"They're all doooooomed!"

(OK, I think he was Aberdonian, but as I said, 'To Misquote....).
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Old 29th Oct 2002, 17:00
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This is how the occasion was reported by The Scotsman and The Telegraph.
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Old 30th Oct 2002, 17:47
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You say "The Wee Frees and other such intolerant religous organisations should concentrate on adapting themselves to a changing world, and perhaps look at the mess in their own back yards before dictating to others as to what they can or cannot do."

These folk mounted a genuine, peaceful, dignified protest. They did so because they believe in God. Does that make them intolerant? It actually makes them more open-minded than the cynical world that surrounds them. Maybe it is those who sneer at their views who are really displaying intolerance?

I applaud them for standing up for what they believe in, and for seeing that there is something more important than being driven by commercial values every day of the week. Remember, they hold Sunday as a day of rest. Can that be a bad thing in the mad rush we all live in today?
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Old 2nd Nov 2002, 21:24
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the western isles

the free church of scotland(aka the wee frees) only have a stranglehold on lewis and harris. the islands to the south are roman catholic. when raf stornoway was in existense the locals used to like visiting the camp on a sunday cos it had a bar and military units dont come under the local licensing laws, the two faced g i t s !!!! personally i wonder if eventually the western isles may end up being evacuated like st kilda.
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 11:31
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As Corsaman said though:

Do they use electric, gas, water/sewerage, doctors, nurses? What about the pub staff - or is it self service on Sundays?

Well some RAF staff do look like Mr Blobby - just need to change the babygrow to pink!

Everyone is entitled to their (religious) beliefs but when it affects others it then becomes oppressive... each to their own.

PS How do the clergy get around it? They must be working on the Sabbath!
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 15:07
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Of course, now that they can get their Sunday newspapers on Sunday, they can read all about themselves.
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 16:25
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It's worth pointing out again that Sunday is not the Sabbath. Whilst Christian believers are free to regard one day more holy than another, and can set aside (for example) the Lord's Day or Easter Day or whatever as they choose, there is no Biblical basis for regarding Sunday as the Sabbath. This is probably a good thing, as the Old Testament law required God's people to stone Sabbath breakers.

Though I still would rather people believe in some sort of absolute beyond themselves, as these people do.

It is also worth pointing out that whilst Christians are not allowed to impose their values on other people, other people feel free to limit Christian freedom. Christians can't even look around in many places without being bombarded with materialistic, relativistic, blasphemous and sexual images that offend them but which are considered acceptable by non-Christian standards. Christians are certainly not allowed to suggest that their beliefs might be absolute, rather than relative.

It is also worth pointing out that if the Christian God really is there, and he made everything, then that God might reasonably expect a response from everybody - we are not actually free to choose to do what we want.
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Old 29th Nov 2003, 07:26
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Loganair lands seven BA routes

Scots carrier Loganair lands seven BA routes


SCOTTISH airline group Loganair has taken over seven routes operated by national carrier British Airways.

The company said it expected the new routes would add almost £20 million to its turnover and would reinforce its position as the biggest operator of internal flights in Scotland.

By securing the seven routes - including Edinburgh to Belfast - from BA subsidiary British Airways CitiExpress, Loganair said passenger numbers would also be boosted from current levels of 315,000 to about 585,000.

The Glasgow-based carrier said turnover would rise from £30m to about £48m on the back of its expanded service.

The agreement, which will see Loganair lease four aircraft from BA, as well as utilising an additional aircraft, also extends the group’s external network.

New external routes will take Loganair to Belfast and the Isle of Man, adding to external routes which already include Derry and Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, and Manchester. The seven routes the company has acquired are: Glasgow to Stornoway, Benbecula, Belfast, the Isle of Man and Aberdeen; Aberdeen to Shetland, and Edinburgh to Belfast.

Loganair, which was founded in 1962, is Scotland’s largest internal flights carrier, operating 33 routes within the mainland and to the Western and Northern Isles.

The company also operates a number of so-called "lifeline" inter-island services and is a major provider of air ambulance cover in Orkney, Shetland and the Hebrides.

Loganair chairman Scott Grier said: "I believe that, with our long and unique experience of operating safe and successful air services throughout the Highlands and Islands, the future of these lifeline routes is in good hands.

"It must be good news for our customers in these remote communities, as well as for our employees. It was crucially important that these lifeline routes be safeguarded while remaining within the BA worldwide scheduled service network."

Under the route takeover deal - effective from March 1, 2004 - Loganair will operate all of the internal Scottish routes currently served by BA CitiExpress.

The carrier will take over the new routes from March 1 next year and for a 12-month period, so as to maintain continuity, will operate with BA aircraft and crews.

Earlier this year, Loganair, which employs 210 staff, also renewed its franchise partnership with BA for a further five years.

Loganair - which was founded in 1962 as the air taxi service of the Logan Construction Company - was the subject of a management buy-out led by Mr Grier from the British Midland Group in 1997.

Mr Grier, chief executive Jim Cameron and the management team have steered the company back to profitability following the life-saving buyout after much of the carrier’s business was transferred to other companies within British Midland.

The management that spearheaded the buyout later secured the BA franchise deal.

Looking ahead, Mr Grier said: "The past few years have been a difficult time for the aviation industry in general. Loganair has not been immune to those difficulties but has continued to make progress."

But he added that with the help of the airline’s latest business scoop "the company will be in a stronger position than it has ever been".
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Old 29th Nov 2003, 16:25
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Scott must be laughing all the way to the bank. After all the criticism he took back in the early nineties when Midland took routes off Loganair because of mounting losses and all the arrogant cynicism from Manx Airlines management who started running the show, now he's still there - and they've all gone, or are going.

The pity of it is actually that Scott probably never took a personal pay or standard of living cut. The Manx management took millions out of the airline when it was floated on the market and subsequently sold to BA, so they're laughing too.

In the meantime, there are pilots who have been badly shafted three times by management. Once because of Loganair mismanagement and sell off, requiring a majority move house all over the Uk. Twice when Manx sold to BA, again provoking more "Future Size and Shapes" than can be described here. Three times (so far) as BA effectively GIVE the routes back to Loganair and Eastern, making yet more people redundant from Glasgow and the Isle of Man. Because that's what it is. As ever, there are glossy phrases like 'wet lease' being employed, but these guys are either looking for a new job, or once again having to pack the family suitcase.


There is such an abysmally low but shatteringly greedy standard of Airline Management in the Industry at so many levels that, were they pilots, they would chopped at their first base check!!!!!
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Old 30th Nov 2003, 06:09
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Angry Get a life....

Couldn't agree more. I was actually with Logi Bear from 85 to 97, so I was there during most of the fun.
You are right in putting the final authority for decisions with BM.....HOWEVER, if you had your facts straight, you would know that SG resisted every profitable decision from the Castle. He had to be ordered to fly SOU to GLA and EDI for example. BM wanted to hang onto the 146s, in point of fact they just about broke even doing charters, but SG only had the nerve for smally aeroplanes. It was entirely down to him that the 146s were handed back, and it was THAT decision which saddled the group with the most expensive turboprop leases in the world, (only way BAe would take back the 146s) still causing BA problems today.
SG was also the man who refused to believe the oilies when they said they wanted Dash Eights for our Sumburgh contracts. No no, he insisted Twin Otters would be OK, so we lost that contract, and then proceeded to sell and Otter or two every year or so to break even. Then there was the decision to ignore the GPO when they said they wanted a biger aircraft than the 360. More contracts lost. Tragedy was both contractors wanted LC to continue doing the job, but wanted bigger aeroplanes. SG, again, knew better! This far sighted decision making also resulted in putting a 360 in Barra, against all advice. I vividly remember the chief test pilot from Shorts getting stuck in the beach on the proving flights. I remember the fun when SG got stuck himself on the inaugural flight because the wind blew the wrong way for a few days!!!

My overall point was intended to illustrate that management usually get rewarded for their mistakes. If pure ability on task were a judgement of job longevity, we'd have a much greater manager turnover (that includes Manx, BRAL and BA too). I meant to contrast this with the base check, which shows up a pilot's skill level very swiftly, and twice a year!

Since you mention it though, I meant it was a pity that SG was never affected personally financially, it might have given him and his ilk an insight into the result of their mistakes on their employees!!! He was only ever rumoured to survive in post because he was a significant shareholder.....but then again, management get rewarded for failure, check out Ayling!

Ref your last point, if I understand you correctly, then I must subscribe to Roxy's viewpoint. For goodness sake, either you are management or not in the airline business at all.
Am I bitter? You bet, facing my fourth house move in ten years, all due to believing the bloody management.
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Old 30th Nov 2003, 18:40
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Talking The Wee Howff

Hey Roxy, sounds like it! Yep, remember all those peeps, (Angela in particular!!)

Things don't seem to change though, Iain H. went the same way I recall.

Hope things have worked out for you - see you downwind sometime.

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Old 1st Dec 2003, 01:09
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Anyone know what the situation is regarding the ATP Crews who will be operating the 'wet lease' aircraft for the initial 12 months?

Are they likely to be offered permanent transfers to Loganair (which I'm sure some would welcome given the current uncertainties at Citiexpress) or will they be going back to BA?
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Old 1st Dec 2003, 04:15
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Red face DuckSoup

Well matey, I suggest you speak to anyone flying with Manx Airlines during the eighties and nineties, when under the control of old Screwitt. Alternatively, since you appear to have a nodding acquaintance with BM, talk to anyone on the 73 Fleet during the early/mid Nineties. Failing that, try discussing the Embraer Fleet with BACX to the current day.

You must have led a very sheltered and naive life so far.
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Old 1st Dec 2003, 04:22
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Crews in GLA are OK for the moment.
Problem arises at the end of the current wet lease. SG is highly unlikely to want to diversify his fleet by taking on the ATPs himself, more likely to hang onto the routes and acquire more Saabs. Probably jobs there (along with huge pay cut) for those whose faces fit.
They will probably prefer to stay with CX - assuming it is still there; however that would de facto involve a move Southwards to whatever English bases are left by then - probably only MAN and BHX. Best guess would be a further subsidy wet lease involving less cash from SG - it all really depends on what the latest bean counting strategy is from Waterworld at that point.
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