A new air service linking Dundee to one of London’s busiest gateways is to launch this spring.
Scotland’s airline Loganair will operate a twice daily weekday service, and once on a Sunday, to London Stansted from March 30, replacing the CityJet service to London City which is due to be withdrawn at the end of March.
In the meantime, tenders will soon be issued to secure a Public Service Obligation that will ensure the long term future of air services between Dundee and London.
London Stansted is the fourth busiest airport in the UK and the third busiest London airport.
Flights will operate twice daily on weekdays, with flights leaving Dundee at 7am and 4.25pm. Return flights depart Stansted at 9am and 6.25pm, allowing business passengers to complete a full day’s work in London. There will also be a flight to and from London Stansted every Sunday afternoon, leaving Dundee at 4.25pm and departing Stansted at 6.25pm.
The new service, operated by a 32-seat Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft, is the result of weeks of negotiation between Dundee Airport operator HIAL, Dundee City Council, Transport Scotland and the airline.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “This agreement with Loganair is welcome news for Dundee Airport as it guarantees continuity of service for the Dundee-London route.
“Maintaining this link is crucial to the airport’s long term future and this announcement safeguards the service as we move towards establishing a full Public Service Obligation on the route.
“Transport Scotland continues to work hard in partnership with Dundee City Council and HIAL to find ways of maximising the potential of Dundee Airport.”
HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “We are delighted that by working in partnership with Dundee City Council, Transport Scotland and Loganair, we have been able to provide continuity of service between Dundee and London, following the withdrawal of CityJet.
“Stansted is a great choice of airport for Dundee, with a wider choice of airlines and three times the number of destinations on offer at London City. Flight times have been designed with business passengers in mind and will allow those travelling for work to reach the City in good time for an early morning meeting, with easy rail access into Liverpool Street, right in the heart of London’s financial centre. Leisure passengers will also enjoy a greater choice of onward connecting airlines and destinations, while those heading for a London city break will find Stansted well placed for the city’s top attractions.”
Dundee City Council administration leader Councillor Ken Guild said: “The council has been working closely with its partners in Transport Scotland, Highland and Islands Airports and Loganair to help ensure this continuity of service between Dundee and London.
“We are obviously keen to find a longer term service to connect Dundee and London, and the council is in the process of putting together a tender to attract an operator under a Public Service Obligation.”
Loganair chief operating officer Phil Preston said: “We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with each of the agencies involved in maintaining this crucial air service.
“Loganair launched its first ever scheduled service in Dundee back in 1963 and the city has been of great importance to the airline ever since.
“We retain a presence in the city and currently employ 23 highly-trained aircrew and engineering staff who work at our base at the airport.
“This route is extremely important to the city of Dundee and we believe our 52 years of aviation experience can help ensure the service to and from Stansted Airport gets off to a strong start.”