Loganair has won the right to continue operating the world’s shortest scheduled flight.

The Scottish regional carrier fought of “stiff competition” to secure the contract to run Orkney inter-isles air service – which includes the 1.7-mile hop between Westray and Papa Westray – for at least the next four years.

The connection between Westray and Papa Westray can be as short as 47 seconds, officially qualifying it as the world’s shortest scheduled flight.

Orkney Islands Council said it awarded the contract after concluding that the airline had submitted “the most economically advantageous tender”.

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “The contract award is a testament to the dedication of our team of pilots, engineers and ground staff in Orkney who operate these essential air links every day.

“This year’s contract award is particularly special as it will take us into and beyond the 50th anniversary of our presence in Orkney.”

Orkney’s inter-isles air service links Kirkwall with North Ronaldsay, Sanday, Stronsay, Eday, Westray and Papa Westray.

The contract will run for four years from April to the end of March 2021, with an additional option for a further 12-month extension.

Loganair began the Orkney services in September 1967, and has provided the links ever since.

Orkney councillor Graham Sinclair told The Scotsman newspaper: “North Isles communities have been served by Loganair for many years and now the outcome of the selection process has been decided, I’m sure the continuity of service will be welcomed by residents.”