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The growing picture of Christmas and New Year air travel chaos is beginning to weigh heavily on the islands.

The Unite trade union has informed Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) that its initial industrial action will involve two strike days by firefighters.

This came only days after the Prospect union warned of several days of strike action.

The Unite statement has the potential to impact all of HIAL’s airports -including Stornoway, Benbecula and Barra on the following days:

  • Monday, 19 December 2022, commencing at 00:01 hours and concluding at 23:59 hours
  • Thursday, 22 December 2022, commencing at 00:01 hours and concluding at 23:59 hours

Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s managing director said: “We apologise in advance for the inevitable disruption this action by Unite colleagues will cause for our airlines and passengers. 

“Whilst recognising the financial challenges our colleagues face, we are disheartened that they will be taking strike action which will greatly inconvenience our passengers and local communities so close to the festive holiday period.

“We will liaise closely with our local teams, airlines, and partners to determine what can be done to minimise the disruption on both days.  Meantime, all communication channels remain open in a bid to avoid this strike action. However, I would urge anyone intending to travel on these dates to keep in touch with their airline.”

Meanwhile there are days of action by other union members, as yet unspecified.

  • HIAL does not have the dates for the industrial action ballot from the Prospect union
  • PCS union has notified HIAL that its members will not be taking industrial action