A Ge­ordie stopover for Lon­don flights

Evening Express (City Final) - - News - CRAIG WALKER EDI­TOR BY CRAIG PA­TON

AN AIR­LINE has scrapped di­rect flights to Lon­don in an­other blow to Aberdeen’s con­nec­tions to the city. East­ern Air­ways will in­stead travel to the cap­i­tal with a stop-off in New­cas­tle. The air­line, which runs the route on be­half of Flybe, said the move would add just 15 min­utes to jour­ney times and save the route from the Gran­ite City in the long-term. The plans will come into ef­fect on Jan­uary 7. Roger Hage, East­ern Air­ways’ gen­eral man­ager for com­mer­cial and op­er­a­tions, said: “Pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling to and from Aberdeen will re­main on board the air­craft as it drops off and picks up pas­sen­gers in New­cas­tle. Th­ese changes are nec­es­sary to re­tain the Aberdeen to Lon­don City route.” It is the sec­ond blow to north-east trav­ellers this week af­ter the Evening Ex­press ear­lier re­vealed that easyjet was set to dump its Aberdeen In­ter­na­tional Air­port to Gatwick flight. The move sparked up­roar from pas­sen­gers and com­mu­ni­ca­tion to pas­sen­gers over the change has also been crit­i­cised. Aberdeen Don­side MSP Mark Mcdon­ald has re­quested a meet­ing with easyjet bosses fol­low­ing the can­cel­la­tion of the flight. How­ever, East­ern said its change will help trav­ellers get to Lon­don. Mr Hage said: “By op­er­at­ing the ser­vice this way, it also en­ables us to in­crease our Aberdeen to New­cas­tle flights to three times a day on week­days will help, given the re­cent news of the Lon­don Gatwick ser­vice loss in Aberdeen.” A spokes­woman for Aberdeen In­ter­na­tional Air­port said: “This is a sched­ule change ef­fec­tive from Jan­uary 2019 that will keep Aberdeen In­ter­na­tional Air­port con­nected with Lon­don City, a route that is an es­sen­tial link for the busi­ness com­mu­nity. “The air­line-re­lated op­er­a­tional change means pas­sen­gers do not disembark from the air­craft dur­ing the brief stop in New­cas­tle.”

The East­ern Air­ways flight to Lon­don City will now stop off in New­cas­tle, pic­tured be­low, en route to the cap­i­tal

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