Eastern Airways is to start serving the key Scottish Airport hub of Aberdeen from Wick John OGroats Airport in collaboration with The Highland Council and Transport Scotland.
Image courtesy Eastern Airways
The new service will operate up to twice daily each way on weekdays and Sundays from 11th April, 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.
Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said: “I welcome the announcement of the award of this contract which will see the restoration of important connectivity for Caithness.
“This service will benefit business travellers and provide visitors with a direct route to experience all that Caithness can offer.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the service both through our direct contribution to the cost of the flights and our ongoing subsidy of Wick John O’Groats Airport.”
The Leader of the Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson is delighted that tickets for the new service are now available and businesses, residents and the many visitors to the area are all set to benefit from enhanced connectivity. She said: “This is terrific news not just for Caithness but for the whole Highlands. Caithness is very much at the fore of expanding the development of future opportunities in sectors such as renewable energy and space. With these new opportunities comes not only supply chain benefits to the local economy but also inward migration and the creation of high value jobs.
She added: “I had a tour of the airport recently and was very impressed with what I saw. It is all about delivering best value. As a council we could not have afforded to cover the costs of the service ourselves, so we are very grateful and thank the Scottish Government and NDA for their help.”
Eastern Airways Managing Director, Adam Wheatley added; “Helping solve vital regional connectivity is what Eastern Airways have done for twenty five years. Working in partnership with The Highland Council, Transport Scotland and key regional stakeholders, connecting again one of the most distant surface transport journeys in Scotland to the hub airport of Aberdeen, 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 approach taken 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, also adding around 20 new direct & indirect jobs in supporting the service”
Matt Hazelwood, chief commercial officer at AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen International Airport, said: “A lot of work has been ongoing behind the scenes with a number of different organisations, and we thank everyone for all their hard work.
“This route will be warmly welcomed by those looking to travel into Aberdeen for medical appointments and onward connections. We look forward to welcoming passengers back to and from Wick to our terminal.”
The service will operate on low-emission regional turbo-prop aircraft also 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.