Loganair bids farewell to Saab 340

LM340 touches down
LM340 touches down

Leading UK regional airline Loganair (LM/LOG) has bid farewell to the last of its Saab 340 aircraft after 24 years service with the airline.

The aircraft performed its last revenue flight on Thursday 25th of January operation between Kirkwall and Inverness under the special flight number LM340.

The aircraft then flew down to Glasgow for its official retirement.

The 18 Saab 340s that have been in Loganair’s fleet have flown over 430,000 flights and even carried the olympic torch to Shetland, Orkney, and Stornoway in the Western Isles in 2012.

More recently two of the Saab 340s were converted to be used as air ambulance during the COVID 19 pandemic serving the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

L-R Captain Eddie Watt, Jonathan Hinkles CEO
L-R Captain Eddie Watt, Jonathan Hinkles CEO

Kent Lindgren, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Saab Regional Aircraft, who was on board the flight, said: Loganair has been a valued customer and operator of Saab regional aircraft for a quarter of a century. Professional operators are essential to any aircraft’s success, and Loganair really stepped up to form an important part of the Saab 340 and 2000 community. Flying in some of the world’s harshest environments, Loganair’s operation has been of immense value to Saab, both as a testament to the quality of the platforms and for the technical feedback this has given us.

“Saab would like to thank Loganair for 25 years of safe Saab-operations, serving so many Scottish communities and allowing regions and relationships to prosper.”

Jonathan Hinkles, CEO, Loganair, added: “It really is a historic moment for Loganair. The Saab 340s have been essential to our operation of island services over the years, connecting remote communities with the mainland and delivering over 8 million customers along with food, newspapers, pets and mail.

“As someone whose aviation journey was prompted by a strong passion for flying, I am personally very sad to see these aircraft go, but we look forward to introducing our new ATR fleet to our customers who will love the space and comfort they offer.

Captain Eddie Watt in the cockpit
Captain Eddie Watt in the cockpit of a Saab 340

The final flight was carried out by veteran pilotCaptain Eddie Watt who is a Shetlander, Eddie is Loganair’s longest serving pilot, after joining the airline on 1 October 1996. He is renowned among crews and customers for his commentaries from the cockpit. He was joined by his wife Rosemary who was among the passengers on board.

Eddie is retiring from the airline after celebrating his 65th birthday on Friday 26th of January, he commented: “It is fitting for me that I retire with the aircraft that has been the staple of my career. Piloting the Saab340, I have watched all of Scotland pass underneath me and it’s been an incredible 34 years flying with this beloved aircraft.”

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