Loganair has unveiled multi-million-pound deals as it moves to complete the “renewal and future-proofing” of its fleet by 2023, with wholesale change of aircraft operating on its Highlands and Islands routes.

The airline, which operates 42 aircraft on 70 routes, declared it would “say goodbye” to its remaining eight Saab 340B passenger aircraft, through a $12 million sale agreement, as it “welcomes a further eight ATR next-generation turboprops” into service next year. ATR is a Franco-Italian manufacturer.

Loganair, which has been put up for sale by owners Stephen and Peter Bond, said the additional ATR turboprops would deliver a reduction of up to 27% in carbon emissions per seat, compared with the Saab 340 aircraft which operate on its Highlands and Islands routes.

It added: “This supports the airline’s commitment to reducing emissions and becoming fully carbon-neutral by 2040.”

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Loganair noted the completed ATR fleet would have an average age of only eight years and “bring enhanced capacity across the network with more passenger seats on each flight” as well as more cargo and mail hold space for its charter services.

It added: “The new ATR aircraft are also equipped to use satellite-based approach systems, enabling operations to continue safely in conditions of reduced visibility such as fog or low cloud – a common issue faced across Highlands and Islands destinations.”

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Loganair noted it already has 15 of the ATR next-generation turboprops in service, including four, 72-seat ATR 72-600 passenger aircraft and four ATR 72-500 Freighter aircraft which have taken over mail delivery flights to and from the Highlands and Islands in recent months.

The airline said: “The Saab type will progressively leave the airline’s fleet between now and July 2023, under the $12 million sale agreement, and will continue their flying careers with new operators in North America.”

The eight additional ATR aircraft are scheduled to arrive by next summer.

Loganair said this would make it one of the largest operators of ATR aircraft in Europe. It added that, with the “first of a series of new agreements already signed”, leasing company Abelo was joining Nordic Aviation Capital and Falko as a provider of aircraft to Loganair.

Jonathan Hinkles, chief executive of Loganair, said: “The Saab 340s have served us, and our customers, superbly well over the last two decades but it’s time for us to transition to a new generation of aircraft.

“In selecting our future fleet, it’s important to have an aircraft which builds upon our environmental credentials while withstanding island weather conditions and providing accessibility for all customers...Our multi-million-pound investment in ATR aircraft will safeguard connectivity for future generations within the Highlands and Islands air network, on which so many communities depend.”