IT is the only airport in the world that has a tidal beach for a runway and is regularly voted as one of the most stunning places in the world to land by passengers and pilots alike.

But one lucky aviation enthusiast was treated to a flight he will never forget on a recent trip to Barra as he was the only passenger onboard.

Jack Rickeard, who runs Youtube aviation travel channel Newcastle Flyer, could not believe his luck when he was treated to the “surreal” experience of having his own ‘private Twin Otter flight’ from Glasgow with Loganair.

The 18-year old, from Newcastle, said staff believed it was the first time the flight made the 45-minute journey from Glasgow Airport to Barra with only one passenger onboard.

READ MORE: Meet the Englishman visiting every beach in the Highlands and Islands

He said: “When I got to the gate no-one else appeared. And when they let me on the plane they said ‘Oh it’s just you’. There where just two pilots, no cabin crew.

“The staff told me that they’d never seen it before. It was the first time that they knew of that only one person was on the flight. And they said that that morning all the other flights were quite full.

"There was a flight to Shetland going at the same time from an adjacent gate and that was pretty much full.”

Due to the beach runway, Barra Airport is also on the bucket list of aviation enthusiasts the world over. 

Operating twice daily flights to and from Glasgow, around 14,000 passengers take the Loganair flight every year on one of around 1,400 annual aircraft movements.

Barra Airport was constructed in 1936 and to provide an alternative way fore residents to get to the mainland rather than the 7 hour ferry trip to Oban.

It actually has three runways, which is one more than London’s Heathrow, and they are marked by wooden poles placed at their ends.

The airport has one small terminal but because it is naturally lit, it cannot handle night flights.

During days with poor visibility, vehicles are stationed at the end of runways to assist pilots to locate them.

Despite the fact that it is also an airport, the beach is still open to the public, with people advised to check if the windsock is flying, because that means the airport is operational.

In 2011, a poll was conducted by the jet charter company, where Barra Airport was chosen as the top airport in the world

But Mr Rickeard travelled up from Newcastle and back on the same day to take the ‘bucket list’  flight, and said the “surreal” experience of flying solo made what was “already a very good experience even better”. 

He said: “It was high on my list and had been for a number of years. It was bizarre. It was not like anything else I’d done before, landing on a beach and it being so soft. And landing on what literally was water.

“I thought it was very good. I’d gone to go and land on the beach in Barra. I’d assumed with it being such a famous place and quite touristy that I would at least not be the only one on the plane. And it made what was already a very good experience even better.

“It was just surreal and unlike anything I’ve done before. I’ve flown more than 80 times this year and that’s the only time that’s ever happened to me. There were six out of 19 seats occupied on the way back, but even then there was plenty of room to stretch out.

“I had about three hours there between flights. I went on the first flight and came back on the last. I had a walk on the beach. That’s really all you can do there.”

The only downside to the flight for Jack was that the “very noisy” plane meant he couldn’t engage in conversation with the pilots sat in the doorless cockpit in front of him.

He said: “I spent most of it looking out the window at the view because the West of Scotland is very pretty. It’s very noisy on the little plane and it would be difficult to have a conversation with someone sat next to you never mind three rows in front.”

He now believes everyone should experience the flight to Barra, not just aviation enthusiasts of the world.

He said: “Even if you just wanted a day out on the beach and you are prepared for doing something a little bit different. You can get some really good last minute deals on this, I only booked it the night before and I paid £50 for the flight. While it wasn’t that cheap it was definitely worth the money I thought.

“The views were fantastic, going over the Isle of Mull and Inveraray, places like that. Places that are spectacular from the ground but even better from above where you can see them more properly and in full. It’s up there with one of the best.”

Loganair were approached by The Herald for comment.