Scottish regional carrier Loganair’s chief executive, Jonathan Hinkles, is stepping down from his position with immediate effect.

Hinkles has been with the carrier for over seven years.

He disclosed the decision as Loganair withdrew the last of its Saab 340 turboprops, which the carrier marked with a ceremony on 25 January.

Hinkles had made an “exceptional” request to the board to step down, the airline says.

“It’s time to get off the stage straight away,” he told staff in a message, without elaborating. “It will serve neither you as my trusted colleagues, me, nor Loganair for there to be a prolonged period of farewell, uncertainty and indecision in leadership.

“With that said, by the time you read these words, I’ll have left the building for the final time.”

Loganair final Saab 340 flight-c-Loganair

Source: Loganair

Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles’ departure coincided with the final Saab 340 flight

Executive chair Peter Simpson will take on the chief executive’s role in the interim, while chief operations officer Maurice Boyle will become the carrier’s accountable manager.

Simpson says the board was “content” to agree with Hinkles’ request to leave without a “protracted notice period”, expressing thanks for his leadership. Hinkles’ achievements have included steering the airline through the effects of the pandemic.

Loganair’s withdrawal of its Saab 340 fleet – after 24 years, and 41 years since the type’s maiden flight – was marked with a sortie from Kirwall to Inverness and then Glasgow. The airline operated 18 of the turboprop.

It is replacing the 340s with ATRs under a fleet modernisation. The final 340 flight, designated LM340, also coincided with the retirement of Loganair’s longest-serving pilot, Capt Eddie Watt.