The varying business fortunes of the players across the aviation industry have been thrown into stark reality.

The gulf was clear as one larger airline hailed a raft of new destinations while another smaller carrier’s accounts showed a decrease in earnings in the wake of it axing one of its routes this month.

As one Scottish airport celebrated the addition of three new routes, Britain’s smallest scheduled airline, serving Scotland’s islands, recorded a drop in profits.

It was good news as Ryanair launched routes from Edinburgh Airport that include a famous resort in North Africa, a coastal holiday destination, and a celebrated wine region city: Agadir, claimed to have the largest souk in Morocco; elegant Biarritz; and historic Bergerac in France.

The Dublin-based carrier is enjoying a profits surge and a rise in revenue, most recently posting a 59% increase in profits to £1.89bn and revenue up by 30%.

In contrast, an airline that operates passenger services between the Scottish mainland and islands posted a significant drop in profits.

The Herald: Barra benefits from air servicesBarra benefits from air services (Image: Getty Images)

Hebridean Air Services reported a decrease in profits of almost half.

The Inverness-registered airline, which has a base in Oban and is owned by Airtask Group in Milton Keynes, posted an increase in turnover.

It reported turnover for the year ending March 2023 at £656,106, compared to £623,072 the year before.

However, Hebridean Air Services also posted a £66,266 operating profit for the same period, against £112,514 the previous time. Profit after tax was £55,824, compared to £92,557 the year before.

READ MORE: Scotland's gaming sector and Glasgow Airport in focus in Business HQ Monthly

I reported earlier that HES had axed its service to a famous Scottish island. The carrier said it made the move to cut the Oban to Islay service because of low passenger numbers.

The Herald: This article appears in the latest edition of Business HQ Monthly. Access the full supplement at the foot of the pageThis article appears in the latest edition of Business HQ Monthly. Access the full supplement at the foot of the page (Image: Newsquest)

The airline operates services from Oban to islands such as Coll, Tiree and Colonsay including routes subsidised by Argyll and Bute Council.

The route to Islay, famed for its natural beauty and whisky heritage, was not subsidised.

I also wrote this month about a famous business borne of one of Scotland's oldest companies that has seen its profits and turnover drop in the wake of the pandemic. A dip in fortunes snowballed into massive losses for part of what is now one of the UK's largest logistics companies, with 270 posts at risk.

Logistics giant Menzies Distribution, the parent company of the at-risk Menzies Parcels, swung to a loss of £1.3m from an £11.1m profit the year before, its latest accounts show. It recorded a £28.1m decrease in turnover to £915.5m.

The Herald: The Scottish company is a household name in the UKThe Scottish company is a household name in the UK (Image: Newsquest)

Menzies Parcels, which provides courier services in the north of Scotland and has 15 depots, showed its losses deepened from £738,000 to £3.2m over the same period, for the 52 weeks ended December 2022, with a £3.5m reduction in turnover to £19.2m.

With a takeover option available to one investor, it is unclear where its future lies but, Menzies said, despite diversification, it remains committed to its core market of newspapers and magazines. The parent company revealed in July that Polish-based InPost had taken a 30% stake in the firm for £49.3m, with a three-year option for the Krakow firm to buy the remaining 70%.

READ MORE: Takeover of historic Scottish firm by Polish giant open as jobs axed

The distribution company was previously part of John Menzies, which dates from 1833. Menzies Distribution was acquired by private equity investor Endless LLP in 2018 as part of the firm's separation from John Menzies plc.

The Herald: Plans for 7,000 new Edinburgh homes lodged with councilPlans for 7,000 new Edinburgh homes lodged with council (Image: Drum Property Group)

It was interesting to see plans for a massive £2bn homes development on the outskirts of the Scottish capital put forward by a consortium led by Drum Property Group.

Said to be "one the most significant and sustainable urban expansions of Edinburgh in a generation", the proposals for West Town have now been lodged with city council planners.

It is claimed that the development on a 205-acre site could help ease the city's housing emergency, declared with 5,000 facing homelessness because of lack of affordable accommodation, with new houses ready as early as 2026.

The site between Ingliston Park and Ride and the Gogar Roundabout at the western gateway of Edinburgh is seen as one of the most strategically important large development areas in the UK, with key air, road and tram links.

This article appears in the latest edition of Business HQ Monthly.