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Loganair will be unable to provide flights at airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) on Thursday July 29 after air traffic controllers announced a one-day strike.
The industrial action will affect six airports – Inverness, Sumburgh, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Benbecula and Dundee.
Loganair says it will be cancelling all flights on that date to and from the five airports. Customers booked to travel on this date will have the option of transferring their booking without any change fee or difference in fare to another Loganair flight – on an alternative route if they wish – or obtaining a full refund.
All customers on affected flights were due to receive an email from Loganair on Tuesday this week setting out these options and providing the link to manage their booking online via the Loganair website.
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron condemned the decision by air traffic controllers to strike, saying the move will compound a sense of crisis in island communities as ferry services struggle to cope with demand, and trunk roads serving the region are repeatedly subject to closures and diversions.
Mr Cameron said: ‘Communities I represent, all along the western seaboard, are in despair at the state of our infrastructure and what it could mean for job and livelihoods.
‘It doesn’t matter whether you travel by road, air or sea, all you see is evidence of under-investment in transport links which leads to frequent unreliability.
‘In the face of this, ministers seem paralysed and incapable of action, beyond offering warm words and further rounds of consultation.
‘It’s simply not good enough and we need to see a plan of action which turns the current unacceptable situation round.’
To help customers with their travel arrangements before and after the strike, there will be extra services on the evening of Wednesday July 28, departing Kirkwall at 7pm and arriving into Aberdeen at 7.50pm, and from Aberdeen to Kirkwall on Friday July 30, departing at 6.10am and arriving into Kirkwall at 7am.
Loganair also plans to operate larger aircraft on several other services on Wednesday July 28 and Friday July 30 to provide additional seats to help customers re-arrange their travel plans.
Flights to and from Islay, Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown will be unaffected as the Flight Information Service officers who oversee arrivals and departures at these airports are not part of the dispute.