Labour MSP continues to press the Scottish Government to stop dithering about future of Wick air routes

 

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, is to again tackle Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, about the dire situation in Caithness which has been left without scheduled air services as previously predicted.

This follows the news that Eastern Airways has now cut the Wick/Aberdeen route that it has operated for a number of years.

“The writing was on the wall long before this week’s announcement and still the Government appears to be dithering about what to do,” said Mr Stewart.

“I doubt whether any other areas of the UK have been left without such vital air links. In fact the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive have already moved to protect air links between the two countries.

“Mr Matheson needs to get a shift on to talk to his UK counterparts to make sure Caithness is in a good position to get connected again and quickly.”

Mr Stewart is lodging a series of Parliamentary Questions, including asking the Scottish Government what assessment has been made of the importance of Wick airport for the future development of Caithness and Sutherland.

The MSP also wrote to Mr Matheson, and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, after Loganair announced the axing of its Edinburgh-Wick service on Friday, March 27.

The MSP had previously asked the Scottish Government for swift action following the collapse of Flybe when the Wick-Aberdeen route was taken over by Eastern Airways which previously ran it under a franchise for Flybe. Mr Stewart argued that the Wick-Aberdeen service was fragile due to falling passenger numbers.

Mr Matheson previously said it was considering carefully the business case submitted by Caithness Chamber of Commerce.

  • A PSO, under EU transport law, is a permitted state aid which maintains scheduled air services on routes vital for the economic development of the region they serve.