Glasgow & West Scotland

Oban, Coll, Colonsay and Tiree flights secured for four years

Hebridean Air Service
Image caption Argyll and Bute Council funds the lifeline air services

Lifeline flights to and from three Hebridean Islands have been secured for another four years.

In May it was feared that services between Oban, Coll, Colonsay and Tiree might be grounded for good.

A temporary operator was appointed as Argyll and Bute Council had failed to receive an acceptable bid for the new Public Service Contract (PSO).

Following a tendering process, it has now awarded the four-year contract to Hebridean Air Services.

The airline already flew the routes and in May it agreed to continue to operate the flights on a temporary basis, while the council carried out the procurement process.

'No gap in service'

There had been concerns that services would be interrupted by strict funding legislation because the price from Hebridean Air Services - the only bidder for the four-year contract - exceeded a new, lower contract ceiling.

Argyll and Bute Council said the new contract would use the same timetable as the interim one and said there would be no gap in service.

Council leader Aileen Morton, said: "It's good news that these services have now been secured on a new contract with the existing operator, which means there will be no gap in service.

"There has been some uncertainty over the future of the services and I'm pleased that we can put any fears to rest with this announcement."

The service offers an amended number of flights, although flights for school pupils travelling to Oban have been secured as a priority.

The flights are also used by visiting health professionals and tourists.

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