Tag Archives: travel

A’ Bhuin – The Tiree Homecoming

After months of organisation and planning, A’ Bhuain week is almost upon us!

In just over a week’s time Tiree will welcome a host of people from all over the world who are returning home to join the rest of Tiree for this week long event!

An excellent programme of activities has been planned, including talks, workshops, ceilidhs, site visits, dancing, classes, a play, whisky, a book launch, live music and lots more!

Everyone is invited to take part and I’m sure there will be something that interests most people. The whole programme can be viewed and downloaded by visiting www.tireehomecoming.com.

An Talla will be a hive of activity throughout the week, so make sure you pop in to see what is happening. Lunches will be served daily, merchandise will be on sale and hopefully there will be lots of people milling around, chatting and having a great time. The committee look forward to seeing you all there and hope you enjoy the week. If you have any questions or would like further information then please visit the website above or get in touch with Jessie Gray (jessiegray49{@}gmail.com) or Rosemary Omand (rosemary.tiree{@}icloud.com)

Twin Otters for Tiree

Two new aeroplanes have been ordered to serve the lifeline air service to Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown.

The Twin Otter aircraft have been specially selected as they are able to land on Barra, the world’s only scheduled service with a landing strip on a beach.

The contract to supply the new planes to link the islands with Glasgow has been awarded to Canadian company Viking Air Limited. The route is officially designated as a public service obligation (PSO) and would not be commercially viable without support from the Scottish Government. Viking Air Limited will provide the two Twin Otter DHC6-400 aircraft. No figure for the contract has yet been disclosed, but the tender was between £5 million and £7 million.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said he was “delighted” that a supplier had been secured. “We expect to take delivery of the new planes next May and for them to be up and running on the routes shortly afterwards. By purchasing our own aircraft, we will also encourage more competition when the contract for operating the PSO routes comes up for renewal. We will be looking at ways to enhance these services and will engage with passengers, local businesses and other interested parties to look at potential improvements. These new planes mean our PSO routes to Campbeltown, Barra and Tiree will continue to be reliable and attractive to travellers. The communities served by these flights can now look forward to seeing new planes operating on the routes next summer.”

Subsidy has been paid by the Scottish Government on the Glasgow-Tiree and Glasgow-Barra route since the mid-1970s.

Will We Lose The Saab 340

Saab 340 aircraft

At a meeting on Monday 6th December the Tiree Airport Consultative Committee (TACC) members agreed to contact the Scottish Government’s Transportation Division following revelations and recent press comment that the Government, through their asset owning agency Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), are planning the imminent purchase of two new Twin Otter aircraft from Canada for use on the Campbeltown, Barra and Tiree routes.

All three `lifeline’ routes are financially supported by the Scottish Government through a mechanism called `public service obligations’, or PSO’s for short. TACC members have learned that the Scottish Government Transportation Department Officials and Minister have already visited Barra to give assurances and to make promises to the public with regard to the future of the Glasgow to Barra air service.

While the Twin Otter has been an excellent aircraft for Tiree, and is apparently the only aircraft that can continue to serve Barra with the unusual beach take off and landing, members of the TACC felt that the needs of each island are quite different, as Tiree passenger numbers have steadily grown over recent years due to the introduction by Loganair/FlyBe on the Glasgow-Tiree route of the Saab 340. Resilience, and also the capacity to grow the Glasgow-Tiree service, should our route be served purely by the new Twin Otter aircraft, were two concerns expressed by TACC members.

Kenny Crawford, Head of Aviation Transport Scotland, has been invited to visit Tiree to discuss the island’s needs and to explain the Government’s proposals and vision for the future of Glasgow – Tiree PSO. He has agreed to come in the New year and has said that no decision on ordering aircraft will be made before 2012.

Any community group/s that have concerns regarding the Government proposals should make their views known to Ann Kirby at the Tiree Trust who will be coordinating a response to the Scottish Government’s Transportation Department.

Hebridean Air responds to customer feedback

Hebridean Air

As a result of customer feedback, we are making some exciting alterations and additions to our Timetable. We are offering a new service, special fares and a new website online booking service, with these changes taking effect from the 1st June.

We are pleased to be introducing a Tuesday and Thursday day return service from Oban and Colonsay to Islay. The aircraft will depart Oban at 0805, routing through Colonsay to Islay.

This will give Colonsay residents the opportunity of flying to Islay to connect with the FlyBe service to Glasgow.
Islay residents will also have the availability of a day return sevice to Oban departing Islay at 0930 and departing Oban for Islay at 1510.

Passengers intending to use the Air Service at Islay, should use the long term car park, available free of charge, where there is located a portakabin for the use of Hebridean Air Services passengers. This is to ensure that passengers on the Glasgow services are segregated from those travelling to or from Oban and Colonsay. Passengers can still use the terminal for connections and facilities such as refreshments and car hire. We hope that this long awaited innovation gets the support of both business and leisure users and becomes a well used part of the local transport infrastructure.

We are also pleased to announce a trial of a weekend special return between Oban and Colonsay, and Oban and Coll. These flights will depart on a Friday and Sunday afternoon, and all seats will have a weekend special fare of £40 single.

We are offering reduced fares on all routes. Passengers will have the option of booking an Early Bird fare online, where we are offering a limited number of seats on every flight at a lower fare.

All of the new services and fares are available on our web booking service, which will come into effect at the end of May at www.hebrideanair.com

We hope these changes reflect the needs of our customers, and that they will continue to give us their valuable support and feedback

Highland Airways

Highland Airways appears to have found someone to rescue it from its recent troubles.

The Inverness based firm, which employs about 100 people, had restricted bookings for flights while talks were held to secure new investment.

Flights for February have been restored and the firm has said discussions with a potential new partner are going well.

Flights in March and beyond will be available for booking soon. Let’s hope this is settled in the near future as the flights between Oban and Tiree are of great benefit to the Island.