Airport operator hopes Wick John O'Groats can still have a viable future
Airport operator Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) says it remains hopeful that Wick John O'Groats can have "a viable and sustainable future” despite the withdrawal of the Loganair link to Edinburgh.
Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s managing director, said: “We are incredibly disappointed that Loganair has decided to withdraw its service between Wick John O’Groats and Edinburgh. This is a commercial decision that the operator has taken. However we recognise it is one that will be greeted with dismay from within the Caithness community.
“We will now assess the implications of this route cancellation and the longer-term impact for our teams within the airport and the region.
“The Wick John O’Groats to Aberdeen service operated by Eastern Airways continues.
“Be under no illusion, these are extremely challenging times for the aviation industry, but we remain hopeful that by working with our partners, a solution can be found to ensure the airport has a viable and sustainable future.”
Richard Hardy, the Prospect union's national secretary for Scotland, said: “This is hugely disappointing and will have a massive impact on our workers at the airport and on Caithness and Sutherland more generally.
“Connectivity is vital for the retention of skilled jobs in Caithness and north Sutherland. This closure will make it more likely that skilled workers, particularly in Dounreay as it decommissions, will be unable to stay and work and their significant contribution to the Caithness and north Sutherland economy will be lost.
“It is essential that the Scottish Government acts quickly on the issue of public service. It also need to take steps to protect staff at the airport so that when it makes a decision there is still a functioning airport to provide the service.”