Europe’s first city centre seaplane service honoured with Scottish Thistle Award

27 Oct 2007

The pioneering spirit of Europe's first city centre seaplane service has been honoured with a Scottish Thistle Award - the Oscars of the tourism industry.

Loch Lomond Seaplanes won the coveted Innovation Award in the wake of the introduction of their new service from the River Clyde to Oban, gateway to the Western isles.

Over the last three years the company has been instrumental in re-establishing the seaplane as a commercially viable and sustainable form of transport for Scotland, requiring nominal infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of new runways or airports and creating minimal impact on the environment.

Oban is the first of many new destinations planned to reduce travelling time between the central belt and some of the more remote Highland communities to minutes rather than hours.

The company, which has been successfully operating charter flights out of Loch Lomond for the last three years, has worked closely with Glasgow City Council, the Civil Aviation Authority, Glasgow Science Centre and the Clyde Port Authority to establish the new service which is unique in Europe.

"Winning the Thistle Award for Innovation is a great honour for us," said David West, founder of the pioneering new air service from the Clyde.

"Scots have been crying out for improved transport links suited to the type of communities and terrain particular to many parts of this wonderful country.

"We had the vision to launch the seaplane service and this award is recognition that we were right.

"The seaplane is more than a mode of transport; it is a unique experience with enormous potential to open up Scotland like never before. We are delighted to have won the Thistle Award for Innovation."

A total of 35 top tourism businesses made it through to the finals of this year's prestigious VisitScotland Scottish Thistle Awards which celebrate quality and innovation.

The Awards, now in their 16th year, are widely recognised as the mark of excellence and professionalism across Scottish tourism; rewarding businesses for their contribution to the country's reputation as a first class visitor destination.

Scotland's Tourism Minister and Argyll & Bute MSP, Jim Mather, said he was delighted to see that the recently inaugurated seaplane flights between central Glasgow and Oban won an award at the VisitScotland annual awards dinner and ceremony.

"I attended this event in my ministerial capacity and was pleased to see awards given to various categories of excellence within our tourist industry. These people I see as role models to be followed and taken as the marker on which we should base our aspirations," said Mr Mather.

"As the MSP for Argyll & Bute I was particularly pleased to see that the innovative, imaginative sea plane service between the River Clyde in Glasgow and Oban Bay has been recognised for the visionary and successful venture that it undoubtedly is proving to be.  David West of Loch Lomond Seaplanes is to be congratulated on this and I sincerely hope that he will be able to expand this service in the future."


For further information or images of the seaplane please contact Peppercorn PR on 01436 670570 or visit


  • Loch Lomond seaplane coming in to land

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