Extra flights for Isles of Scilly

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Extra fixed wing flights are to be made to the Isles of Scilly after the helicopter service comes to an end in October.

Isles of Scilly Steamship Company chairman Andrew May

The announcement was made by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company at special celebration event to mark the 75th anniversary of flying to the islands out of Land’s End Airport.

The company, which operates the Skybus and Scillonian ferry services, plans to take on extra staff and buy an additional aircraft to operate the route. It will also spruce up the ferry and examine the possibility of operating it seven days a week during the peak months.

Chairman Andrew May said: “As a company we have been working tirelessly during these past six weeks to reassure people of our ongoing commitment through our fixed wing aircraft, passenger ferry and freight services.

“We are aware of the increase in the number of people who need to use our services and have created a schedule for Skybus which enables us to increase capacity considerably.

“We are looking at acquiring a new aircraft and will also be looking at recruiting additional pilots and crew. In addition to this, Scillonian III will be undergoing a schedule of works this winter which will improve the passenger experience on board. We are reviewing the option to operate the ship for seven days a week during the peak summer months next year.”

The company has also finalised its schedule for 2013, with flights operating from Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter. The seasonal service from Bristol and Southampton will not operate in 2013, which it says, will enable Skybus to offer more frequent flights from the other three airports.

May added: “We have listened to the concerns of people on the islands and have tried to find ways to accommodate their requests. We are working hard to implement changes and improvements so that people are still able to do all they have done before. We have already put a number of changes in place and will continue to do so during the coming months.”

Skybus is also finalising details with the NHS Commissioning Team for the launch of a stretcher service to enable people with limited mobility to access their aircraft. The company has also secured the contract with the Royal Mail to deliver post to the islands and will soon be launching a same day small parcel delivery service.