Loganair prepares to say goodbye to its Saab SF340s in style after 24 years 


Glasgow-based Loganair will be retiring the last remaining Saab SF340 turboprop from its fleet in January 2024. Yet, with almost 25 years of commercial service with the Scottish regional carrier, the company is not saying goodbye to its reliable workhorse without a fitting send-off. 

Loganair, the largest regional airline in the United Kingdom, has announced that it will host a weekend of celebrations to mark the end of almost a quarter-century of SF340 operations on the weekend of January 21/22, 2024. 

In a press release issued by the carrier, it says that the events will be an opportunity for customers and supporters to say goodbye to the trusty turboprop on its final weekend in service. 

Benthemouse ‘ Shutterstock.com

Loganair began operating the type following the acquisition of a former Minnesota-based Mesaba Airlines example in July 1999. Over the following 24.5 years, the company has operated 18 different SF340s in total, according to ch-aviation.com. The company has also operated four dedicated freighter SF340s in its history. Additionally, Loganair operated five of the SF340’s larger stablemates, the Saab 2000 between 2014 and 2020.  

However, having slowly been replaced in Loganair with the more modern ATR42-500 and -600 in recent years, the time has come for the SF340s to finally be retired. The type has served the company well over its time with the carrier, connecting remote communities of the Scottish Highlands and the country’s outlying islands with the Scottish nation’s major airport hubs at Glasgow (GLA), Edinburgh (EDI), Dundee (DND) and Aberdeen (ABZ). 

The aircraft also formed the backbone of Loganair’s scheduled trunk route network for many years, serving on routes such as Dundee to London, and from Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen to destinations in mainland Europe.  

Ronnie Robertson / Wikipedia Commons

The airline currently has just three examples of the 33-seat SF340B remaining in service, with the oldest of these (registered G-LGNJ) being 34.1 years old.  

Not willing the retirement of the type to slip away unnoticed, the airline is arranging a farewell/retirement party for the old-timers at its headquarters in January 2024. 

The retirement events will take place on January 21 and 22, 2024 at Glasgow Airport. On both days the Saab 340 will undertake several scenic flights taking in the beauty of the west coast of Scotland, subject to weather. Each passenger onboard will be presented with a commemorative gift bag. 

As part of its participation in the GreenSkies environmental program, the airline will plant a tree in the Caledonian Forest as a move to offset the carbon dioxide produced by the special pleasure flights.  

Each flight, costing £89 ($107) per passenger, will take off and land at Glasgow Airport, spending 45 minutes touring the west coast of Scotland. The precise routings will be subject to weather conditions on the day and at the captain’s discretion. 

Exclusively, on January 21, the carrier will throw open the doors to its Glasgow maintenance facility for two timed sessions where the public can tour the hangar and meet engineers who have worked on the SF340 during its time at the airline. At least one of the remaining three Saabs is expected to be in the hangar for the open day.  

Hangar visits are priced at £25 ($30) with all proceeds from both the hangar events and profits from the scenic flights being donated to Loganair’s charity partner Children’s Hospices Across Scotland. 

Riik@mctr / Wikimedia Commons

“I very much hope that this celebration will allow us to mark all that has been achieved with the Saab 340 in its formidable run of service with us and create memorable opportunities for many interested folks outside Loganair to take part in these events alongside us too,” said Jonathan Hinkles posting on LinkedIn.  

“Although everyone who has flown, maintained, serviced, and managed these aircraft during their 24 years with us has been integral to the building of the modern-day Loganair with the Saab 340, the eight million customers who have flown with us on over 430,000 Saab 340 flights have also been fundamental too, so it’s important that we share this occasion outside Loganair as well,” Hinkles added. 

But the scenic flights and hangar open days are not quite the end of the celebrations as the Saab SF340 heads off to pastures new. Hinkles teased that the airline might have something else up its sleeve. Although both the scenic flights and hangar visits are fast selling out, Hinkles added: “We might just have another surprise or two in prospect as part of the celebrations!” 

Stay tuned to AeroTime in January to discover what those further surprises turn out to be. 


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