Loganair is raising capacity to and from the Isle of Man from July as travel restrictions are progressively eased.
The airline has already seen a “marked increase” in bookings on Isle of Man flights as customers plan ahead for the summer.
The Isle of Man schedule is being expanded by 70% to offer 44 flights a week by the end of July to six destinations against the current 26 flights to three destinations.
But Loganair has decided not to expand its Isle of Man-Manchester schedule beyond the current one daily service for the time being “with international travel continuing to prove difficult or impossible for many”.
The regional carrier said: “A significant proportion of customers on the Manchester route were taking onward connections and Loganair plans to progressively increase the service – initially to two flights each way per day before expanding to four by summer 2022 – as international travel resumes after the pandemic.”
Flights to Birmingham start on July 5, initially five days a week rising to a daily service from early August.
This will mark the restoration of a Birmingham link which has been absent since the collapse of Flybe shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic last March.
An Edinburgh service will also resume on July 5 with three flights a week.
The largest increase comes on the flagship Isle of Man-Heathrow route, which will move from one to two daily flights each weekday , except Tuesdays in July, and on Sundays from July 5.
This doubles the Isle of Man’s frequency of service to the London hub and ensures onward connections via a Loganair partnership with British Airways.
Direct flights between the Isle of Man and Jersey will operate on Saturdays from July 3.
Loganair has recruited four new Isle of Man-based cabin crew.
Further staff additions are expected later in the year as the carrier upgrades the current 48-seat aircraft based in the island with larger 72-seat ATR-72 turboprops that it is in advanced negotiations to acquire specifically to serve routes to and from the Isle of Man.
Loganair chief commercial officer Kay Ryan said: “We’re delighted to be building upon the record of service that Loganair has established in the Isle of Man during the pandemic through this significant increase in flights now that travel restrictions have started to ease.
“This is one of several steps to re-build the Isle of Man’s air services to full strength, which we’re committed to taking over the coming weeks and months as we hopefully leave the Covid-19 pandemic behind us.
“Loganair’s commitment to serving island communities – honed over nearly 60 years of flying in Scotland – coupled to our locally-based team and our wide range of partnerships with international airlines mean that we genuinely can be the local airline with a global reach.”