The next contract to operate the Scottish Government-supported air routes from Glasgow to Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown will give local communities more control over the services.

The Invitation To Tender for the contract, which will run for four years from 25 October 2019, has been published today (Thursday April 25th)

It includes new measures which will see little-used services from Barra and Tiree removed from schedules to create a bank of rotations which can be deployed at the discretion of local communities.

A trial on the Barra service, which sees seats reserved for passengers travelling for medical purposes, will also be formalised in the new contract and timetable changes made to the Campbeltown service in 2015 will continue.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:“These flights play a vital role for the remote communities they serve, so we have spoken with passengers to see how we can make improvements and will keep ticket prices low given the lifeline nature of the services.

“The people of Barra and Tiree told us they face capacity issues over the busy summer period, so the new contract will remove a number of little-used flights to create a bank of rotations that can be deployed at the discretion of these communities.

“It will also formalise a scheme for the Barra service which reserves seats for passengers travelling for medical purposes, following a successful trial.

“I look forward to this contract being awarded later this year and the benefits that come with it being realised by passengers.”

The new contract to operate the Scottish Government’s Public Service Obligation routes from Glasgow to Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown is expected to be awarded by the end of the summer.  The estimated value of the four-year contract is around £20 million.

Photograph by David Savile.