From February 17 2011, Eastern Airways will increase capacity on routes from Southampton Airport to Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland. The expansion will add a later service from Aberdeen, departing at 18.55 on every weekday evening, and arriving in Southampton two hours later, at 20.45.
Eastern, like Air Southwest and the ill fated, Highland Airways, is a relatively unknown airline outside of the cities it serves. The carrier flies to and from 14 UK hubs, including Durham Tees Valley, Bristol, and Leeds, and operates direct flights from Aberdeen to Bergen and Stavanger in Norway.
Despite its lack of renown, Eastern Airways is attempting to take on the likes of BMI, Dutch airline, KLM, Flybe, and Thomas Cook, by introducing extra flights from Aberdeen to the South of England. The enduring popularity of the route is no coincidence; the Dyce hub supplies the London airports with passengers, many of which are natural resource barons on their way to North Africa, Russia, or Kazakhstan.
Roger Hage, Eastern’s boss of ground operations, said that the capacity boost would benefit those “travelling to do a day’s business,” as the air route is “significantly quicker than by road or rail.” Derek Provan, new managing director at Aberdeen, referred to Eastern’s route as a “vital link for our business passengers,” given that the airline has been flying from the Scottish city for the past 13 years.
Eastern Airways maintains fast-track security channels at both airports, and a special business lounge at Aberdeen. The carrier also offers a Sunday service from Scotland, departing at 16.10, and returning from the south coast at 19.00.