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The Airtask Group

Directflight Limited, trading as Airtask Group, were established in 1983 and specialise delivering bespoke flying tasks. They currently operate ten aircraft, ranging from a DA42 to the BAE 146-301 Atmospheric Research Aircraft.


The Company have fourteen staff at their Cranfield Airport headquarters, and employ a further forty three people based around the UK.


Depending upon the specific task,  Airtask fly their operations under either their Public Transport or Commercial Air Transport Air Operators Certificates. 


Airtask currently operate the following services:


  • Atmospheric Research Aircraft. This is a BAE 146-301 aircraft owned by the National Environmental Research Council. It’s role is to explore the Meteorology, Chemistry and Physics of the atmosphere throughout the world. It is commissioned by world wide universities and governments. The aircraft is supported by three dedicated operations staff and flown at any one time by two of the four qualified pilots. The operation is supported by Avalon Aero Engineering Ltd.


  • Marine Scotland. Airtask have operated two Reims F406 marine patrol aircraft on behalf of Marine Scotland since 2005. These aircraft patrol the Scottish fisheries areas both responding to intelligence and proactively seeking out foreign fishing vessels that are infringing fishing legislation. The crews, based at Inverness, are highly trained and in 2016 the FCO requested that they deploy to Diego Garcia in the Pacific Ocean to trial new fishery protection process there. The trial proved very successful and plans are being developed to deploy an aircraft there permanently.


  • Marine Management Organisation and Border Force. Since 2005 Airtask have provided two further F406’s to support the English fishery industry and the Border Agency patrolling English waters. This contract recently reverted to a call off agreement that Airtask is still supporting.


  • QinetiQ Range Clearance. The two Cranfield based F406’s also support the MOD with missile firing range clearance duties from Benbecula Island in the Hebrides. Airtask guarantee a certain amount of hours per year to ensure these extremely costly operations are not jeapordised by a lack of air cover.


  • Shetland Island Council Inter Island Air Service. Airtask have run this service since 2006 using two nine seater BN2B Islander Aircraft. They are based at Tingwall Airport and the pilots fly schedule flights to Foula, Fair Isle, Out Skerries and Papa Stour. The base is managed by two ground staff, one permanent engineer and three pilots. The pilots are highly trained and licensed to use various remote airfields in the Scottish Islands. As with all of Airtask’s operations, safety is the main priority and the pilots regularly make crucial decision regarding the hostile weather conditions that exist in these environments. Notwithstanding weather cancellations, Airtask have provided an extremely reliable service with just four cancellations due to unscheduled engineering since 2015. This equates to four cancellations in well over 3000 flights. This excellent reliability is based on the whole team pulling together, from pilots looking after the aircraft, skilled engineering and good operational planning. As well as scheduled services, the Shetland Island aircraft are also available for charter flights outside the scheduled timetables.


  • Hebridean Air Services. This service has been in existence for many years but Airtask only acquired the Company in 2016. In much the same way that the Shetland Island service works, the Hebridean service relies on one BN2B aircraft, a base manager, strong engineering support and two pilots. Again our pilots are qualified to fly to various small Scottish Islands and have provided an excellent service over many years.

Our Destinations
Isle of Coll
Isle of Colonsay

The Isle of Coll is a Southern Hebridean island lying about four miles west of Mull. It extends approximately thirteen miles in length and is about four miles across at it’s widest point. Coll is fairly central in the coastal chain of Hebridean islands, and breathtaking views of surrounding islands can be seen from many points on Coll’s shores. 

More information can be found here

There is probably no such thing as two similar islands but a look on the map shows striking similarities between Gigha and Colonsay, which are of course coincidental. One could say that Colonsay is Gigha’s bigger brother. Colonsay is about twice the size of Gigha, Colonsay also has an island south of the main island, in Colonsay’s case called Oronsay, and the shape doesn’t differ that much either. There are probably much more similarities but let’s stick to describing Colonsay itself.

More information can be found here

Isle of Tiree

The Isle of Tiree is the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides, with a mild climate and white sand beaches. The charming Isle of Tiree is the most westerly of the Inner Hebridean islands and at about 12 miles long and three miles wide, it’s relatively small. The landscape of Tiree is rather flat and has been described as ‘a raised beach’ and ‘the land below the waves’. The island is also known for its fertile soils and has a strong crofting heritage.

More information can be found here

The largest town in Argyll & The Isles, Oban is known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ and the 'Seafood Capital of Scotland'. The town itself lies in a crescent occupying the hills surrounding Oban Bay and is a busy town with great accommodation, cafes and restaurants, and wide selection of activities and day trips. This popular town is also known as the 'Seafood Capital of Scotland' offering a remarkable number of award-winning restaurants.

The most outstanding feature within Oban is McCaig’s Tower, the Colosseum lookalike which stands above the town and features in many of the postcards to be found on George Street. The Tower is 10 minutes hard walk uphill from the centre of the town but provides spectacular views over the town and onto the neighboring islands.

More information can be found here

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