Most people choose one of two ways of getting to Fair Isle. Some take the Good Shepherd IV, the Fair Isle Ferry, as it makes its way across the 25 miles of often rough open water separating Fair Isle from Sumburgh.
Others take the 25 minute trip on board the Britten-Norman Islander from Tingwall Airport near Lerwick to Fair Isle's gravel airfield. The aircraft has limited accommodation, so booking is essential: though not so limited it could not, on one flight, carry three tranquilised Shetland ponies... Some 2,000 passengers each year make this trip, including island children boarding at secondary school in Lerwick making visits home. The images on this page show the aircraft when the service was operated by Loganair. The service is now provided by Shetland Islands Council and operated under contract by Directflight Limited, using the same type of aircraft.
En route from Tingwall to Fair Isle passengers are treated to stunning views of the whole southern half of Shetland from a vantage point of a little under 1,000ft. After giving an unusual view of Shetland's collection of wind turbines, the aircraft passes over Scalloway, past Hamnavoe, then down the west coast of South Mainland.
The approach to Fair Isle gives superb views of the island, allowing a much better feel for its shape and structure than is possible from ground level. Fair Isle's airfield is located in the centre of the island, on the southern slopes of Ward Hill.
Full details of current timetables and fares for all Shetland Islands Council Inter-Island Air Services can be found on on the air services area of Shetland Islands Council's website.