At least two days of flights will be lost next week as the Air Traffic Control dispute hits Stornoway Airport even harder.
Highlands and Islands Airport staff rejected requests to amend closures on Tuesday, May 21st, to avoid disrupting Loganair's flight schedules.
Now the airline faces soaring costs, reduced revenue and the prospect of cutting services in the future if the dispute continues to affect so many flights.
In a public statement, Loganair said: “We sincerely regret that these cancellations have become necessary as a result of the Work to Rule by HIAL Air Traffic Control staff.
"We had proposed alternative timings for the opening and closure of Stornoway Airport on Tuesday to minimise disruption to our flights and customers which would still have met the Air Traffic Controllers’ mandatory safety breaks during their working day, but these proposals have been summarily dismissed due to the ongoing industrial action, leaving us with no choice but to cancel flights.”
“It is increasingly difficult to see how this dispute will ever be resolved if the parties to it – Prospect and HIAL – do not even have any talks scheduled to progress a settlement.
"The impact is falling exclusively on Loganair’s customers, aircrews and ground staff and it’s wholly unacceptable for both parties to allow a prolonged stand-off to develop in the way that we are now seeing.”
This falls ahead of the full-day stoppage on Thursday 23 May.
Jonathan Hinkles, Managing Director of Loganair, said: "We have worked with HIAL to try to amend the timings of the closures of the airport to largely eliminate the impact on Loganair’s schedules, but this proposal has been rebuffed by HIAL’s local air traffic control management team.
"As a consequence of this, we have had to cancel a total of six flights between Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stornoway next Tuesday. This will undoubtedly disrupt NHS patient travel, routine journeys between Stornoway and the central belt and will preclude newspaper deliveries to Stornoway on Tuesday.
"During last Tuesday’s closures at Stornoway, a total of 400 customers were delayed and 120 customers had their journeys cancelled.
"On a previous occasion, we saw a situation where the crew of a Loganair jet incoming from Glasgow to Stornoway were advised that they would be 15 seconds too late to land ahead of an air traffic control closure and the aircraft was directed into a holding pattern above Stornoway for 30 minutes, burning over a tonne of fuel and causing delays to both the arrival of that flight and subsequent flights to be flown by the same aircraft and crew."
The six flights to and from Stornoway being cancelled are:
- LM341 Edinburgh-Stornoway
- LM342 Stornoway-Edinburgh
- LM470 Glasgow-Stornoway
- LM471 Stornoway-Glasgow
- LM478 Glasgow-Stornoway
- LM479 Stornoway-Glasgow
If you’re booked on one of the above flights, you can transfer your booking free of charge to an alternative Loganair service on Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st or Wednesday 22nd May.
You can do this via the “manage my booking” function on Loganair's website or by calling our Customer Contact Centre on 0344 800 2855.
Alternatively, if you wish to cancel your flight, you can obtain a full refund including for any other Loganair flights within your booking. We’re unfortunately unable to assist with changing or refunding flights booked with other airlines which may form part of your travel plans.