TWO airlines which are competing on the same island routes have raised the stakes by improving their baggage allowances in a bid to lure passengers.

Loganair and Flybe each changed their policies as they try to entice people travelling to and from the Highlands and Islands.

Flybe, which serves Shetland, Lewis, Wick and Orkney, scrapped baggage charges, saving passengers up to £52 on a return flight.

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At the same time, Loganair, which already includes baggage in its fares, will allow passengers to take two bags weighing up to 20 kilos instead of one, without any charge.

Loganair’s chief operations officer, Maurice Boyle, said the existing baggage policy was “already the most generous of any airline operating in the Highlands and Islands”.

But he said he was offering more “flexibility”. “We recognise that carrying a single bag weighing up to 20kgs may be challenging for some of our customers such as our more mature travellers or those with families,” he said. Flybe’s interim chief commercial officer, Ronnie Matheson, said its changes were introduced following customer feedback.

He said: “Flybe is committed to listening to our customers and we will always do our best to action wherever possible any changes that will enhance their overall experience of travelling with us.”

The two airlines jointly operated routes under a franchise agreement for nearly 10 years.

But in September, Flybe formed a pact with Eastern Airways to operate routes between the Northern and Western Isles and the mainland.