Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has welcomed news that the long-running industrial action by Air Traffic Controllers at Highlands and Islands Airports has been brought to an end.
Trade union, Prospect confirmed that its ATC members ‘overwhelmingly’ accepted the revised pay offer from HIAL management.
Over recent months, Mr McArthur has repeatedly highlighted the disruption caused to lifeline air services by the dispute, raising the issue directly with both the First Minister and Transport Secretary. In particular, he drew attention to the impact on isles patients travelling to hospital appointments in Aberdeen.
Commenting on the breakthrough today, Mr McArthur said:
“I warmly welcome the fact that the new year has brought with it a resolution to this long-running and damaging dispute. Hopefully, this now signals an end to the uncertainty and disruption for passengers, who rely so heavily on these lifeline air services.
“I am sure it will also come as a relief to the parties involved. This dispute has taken its toll over recent months on relationships that are key to the delivery of these services. There needs now to be a focus on rebuilding those relationships and trust.
“During the dispute, Loganair made changes to its timetable to reduce the risk of delayed or cancelled flights. This included cutting back on flights between Kirkwall and Manchester, despite their popularity. I would urge Loganair to look again at those changes and reinstate connections where possible”.