Eastern Airways, which operates scheduled flights from Leeds Bradford Airport, is expanding the size of its Saab 2000 fleet to nine with the introduction of an extra aircraft.
The Humberside-based regional airline, which provides a comprehensive domestic network of scheduled services, and is the UK’s leading provider of fixed wing air services for the oil and gas industry, will see the Saab 2000 entering service in the coming weeks.
The Swedish manufactured 50-seater Saab 2000 is one of the world’s fastest turbo-prop aircraft with its two Rolls Royce engines producing a cruising speed of 425mph, and low fuel burn due to its efficiency.
This latest addition will be assigned to its charter services operating for the oil and gas industry, which also includes the recently awarded major contract with BP flying between Aberdeen and Sumburgh in the Shetland Isles.
Paul Alcock, Eastern Airways’ managing director, said: The Saab 2000 is an extremely flexible aircraft that can operate on both short and longer runways, which is ideally suited to our long term charter services for the oil and gas industry. The aircraft type is also used on our scheduled network and to European destinations for ad-hoc charters.
The airline has been operating flights from Leeds Bradford for over 11 years, and currently provides a choice of daily weekday services, plus Sunday flights from the airport to Southampton and Aberdeen.
Saab 2000 aircraft were first introduced to Eastern Airways fleet in 2004 and the latest addition increases the fleet to nine. The airline is also the largest operator of British Aerospace Jetstream 41s in the world with a fleet of 18. The remainder of the fleet comprises of four regional jets, including two Embraer 135 and two Embraer 145 aircraft.
A network of services across to 20 airports in the UK, Norway and France is operated by the airline on a fleet of 31 regional aircraft.
In January 2014, the airline started a new scheduled service between Leeds Bradford and Southampton and also launched its third domestic route in France with flights between Lorient and Lyon.