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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Second airline makes Sabbath plans
Stornoway airport
Many on the isle of Lewis are strict Sabbatarians
A second airline has announced plans to operate Sunday flights to the Western Isles despite an attempt by strict observers of the Sabbath to halt similar moves by a rival carrier.

BMI is to offer direct links to Edinburgh seven days a week from Stornoway, on the island of Lewis, where public transport services and businesses do not operate on the "Lord's Day".

The announcement came as members of the Lord's Day Observance Society met Loganair in an attempt to persuade them to abandon their plans for Sunday flights.

BMI, formerly British Midland, will operate a 49-seat Embraer jet on the daily return flight, carrying passengers between Stornoway and the capital in under an hour.

Sunday ferry protest
Attempts to introduce a Sunday ferry were challenged

Spokesman Alex Grant said there was a demand for a service.

But the news has angered the Lords Day Observance Society.

Its Scottish Secretary, Major Iain MacDonald, said it was the thin end of the wedge.

Both Loganair and BMI said they believe many islanders want a seven day service, and they are going head-to-head for that trade at the end of next month.

However, some islanders fear that other transport providers and businesses could follow suit, threatening the traditional way of life on the Hebridean island.

The ferry company Caledonian MacBrayne has faced fierce opposition to any such move in the past.

See also:

11 Jul 02 | Scotland
16 Mar 00 | Scotland
24 Jan 00 | Scotland
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