Eastern Airways, the UK’s regional airline, commenced the new service linking the key Scottish Airport hub of Aberdeen from Wick John O’Groats Airport in collaboration with The Highland Council and Transport Scotland.
The new service operates up to twice daily each way on weekdays and Sundays, helping restore regional connectivity from Caithness and Sutherland to the hub airport of Aberdeen. This will include an early morning Wick John O’Groats departure on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 25th April.
The flight schedule has been designed to provide maximum opportunity for connections through Aberdeen Airport both domestically and for international destination options. These include world-wide connectivity via London Heathrow with British Airways and Amsterdam with KLM, Norwegian energy related connection with Wideroe and SAS, and leisure destinations via London Gatwick and Luton with easyjet plus the varied direct holiday options with TUI and Ryanair, opening Caithness and Sutherland to wide reaching connectivity.
Customers using yesterday’s inaugural service departing Wick John O’Groats Airport where treated to a wee dram provided by local distillery “Old Pultney” offering a whisky tasting session and to other local food and produce from the region. The service was sent off by The Viscount Thurso and a delegation of key local business and stakeholders as part of the enthusiastic regional stakeholder gathering.
Lord-Lieutenant, Lord John Thurso, Chair of Visit Scotland commented; “Connectivity is vital both for the business community in Caithness and for the visitor economy. This route offers excellent onward connectivity and helps open Caithness for visitors. Importantly it also helps secure the airport’s future.”
Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) chair, Lorna Jack, said: “This new scheduled flight is the reward for a lot of hard work by many individuals and organisations who built a compelling case for a PSO, and they are to be commended on the success of those efforts.
“HIAL has invested millions of pounds in recent years to ensure Caithness has a sustainable and viable aviation infrastructure and I am delighted we can once again welcome air passengers to and from the region."
Eastern Airways Managing Director, Adam Wheatley added; “Yesterday saw a very warm and positive welcome from the Caithness community and those who have worked tremendously hard to see services restored and the culmination of their work. Helping develop vital regional connectivity is what Eastern Airways have done for twenty five years, so yesterday’s inaugural service helped connect Caithness as one of the remotest mainland regions back into the hub airport of Aberdeen. This helps avoid one of the most distant surface transport journeys in Scotland and the wide array of onward connectivity available, in a low emission aircraft fits our belief in how sustainable aviation can meet the need of the UK economy and extensive connectivity into the future.
“We welcome the positive engagement shown by all stakeholders and partners to bring this Wick John O’Groats to Aberdeen air service back. Eastern Airways will support the Caithness & North Sutherland community in wider accessibility in restoring services the UK’s most northerly mainland airport”.
The service operates on low-emission regional turbo-prop aircraft, ensuring the route is delivered as a low carbon environmentally sustainable option. This supports both the airport and airline’s strategies towards sustainability, while offering a fast, convenient and hassle-free way of travelling for varied lengths of stay, with flights taking little over half an hour.