Not an Islay related article tonight but close enough to home to be interesting I think. BBC Scotland reports today about a new air service between Oban and Islay's neighbour Colonsay. Highland Airways is the company that will run this scheduled air service which operates twice daily, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Connel (by Oban). The flights will start on Monday June 17th, 2008. This will be a major improvement for the people on Colonsay as well as for tourists who want to visit this lovely island. Together with the start of flights to Colonsay, the island of Coll will have new services between the island and Oban as well. A quote from BBC Scotland:
Two remote Scottish islands will be linked to the mainland by scheduled flights from next week. From Monday, Highland Airways will operate the services between Oban and Coll, Colonsay and Tiree in the Inner Hebrides. Scheduled flights already run between Tiree and Glasgow, but not Oban. It is hoped the new routes will provide an important transport link for local people and boost the local economies. Oban airport and Coll and Colonsay aerodromes are owned and operated by Argyll and Bute Council. The airports underwent major improvements to make them suitable for commercial flights, with new terminal buildings put up and runways improved. The project cost about Â£9m, with funding from a variety of sources including Argyll and Bute Council and the Scottish Government.
Despite the short time on board the fares are rather expensive. I tried to make a booking and the cheapest flight I could find was Â£35 for a single journey for one person. When you consider the flight time, which is 25 minutes, the Â£35 is quite a lot of money. But then again, there aren't much alternatives available.