January 27 2015 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Friday, February 7, 2014
Eastern Airways has secured a major new contract with BP Exploration Operating Company Limited to provide air services between Aberdeen and Sumburgh Airport in the Shetland Islands.
Eastern, which has been operating scheduled services from Norwich Airport since 1999 and offers three flights a day each weekday from Norwich to Aberdeen, plus a Sunday service, secured a six year period, worth more than £30m with an option for BP to extend.
Up to 25 new jobs will be created to support the airline’s operation.
Starting in June Eastern will provide flights in support of BP’s offshore activities west of Shetland. Two aircraft from Eastern’s Jetstream 41 fleet based in Aberdeen will initially operate the services and will then move to the company’s larger Saab 2000.
Paul Alcock, managing director at Eastern Airways, said: “This is a major contract for us to have been awarded. We look forward to providing essential transport services to support BP’s significant investment programme in the Shetlands. This is a further addition to an important part of our business, as we already operate services for the Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC) between Aberdeen and Scatsta.”
Mark Hardie, BP’s UK logistics infrastructure manager, said: “The West of Shetland area is an important part of BP’s future in the North Sea, and I’m pleased we are able to create new jobs in Aberdeen and Shetland through this contract award. We look forward to working with Eastern Airways in the coming years to provide a safe and reliable service to transport personnel to and from Shetland in support of our current and future operations.”
Eastern Airways already operates more flights from Aberdeen than any other carrier, with a network of 11 scheduled routes spanning the length and breadth of the UK.
The airline first started scheduled services from Aberdeen in 1997 and as well as Norwich its current destinations from the north east airport include Wick, Stornoway, Stavanger, Newcastle, Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, Cardiff and Southampton.
It operates a fleet of 30 regional aircraft operating from 20 airports in the UK, Norway and France.
Norwich International Airport will run daily flights to Cardiff airport following a deal with regional airline LinksAir.