Eastern Airways have done their reputation locally no good at all after pulling out of a meeting to discuss the Stornoway-Aberdeen timetable, it was claimed this week.
Speaking after planned talks were cancelled at short notice, SNP Holyrood candidate, Dr Alasdair Allan called on Eastern Airway to start listening to customers.
He told the Gazette: “A number of customers of Eastern Airways have been in touch with me about their long standing complaints about the timetable for Stornoway to Aberdeen flights.
“I have to say it has proved pretty difficult to get Eastern Airways to meet either them or me face to face, so when after months of trying we got a date arranged to meet in Stornoway, this was a hopeful sign.
“Now that Eastern Airways have cancelled this meeting, I have to say they have done their image as a company no good locally.”
He added that the airline needed to start listening to the “very reasonable requests” being made for flight times that would make it possible for offshore workers to travel to and from Stornoway and make their helicopter connections inside one day.
A spokesperson for the Lincolnshire-based airline said: “Alasdair Allan is aware that we’ve been in talks with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
“While no firm proposal has yet been agreed, we feel that any Eastern Airways representation at a local meeting would add no value at this stage.
“When we’re in a position to further update Mr Allan, we will do so.”
It had been hoped the meeting would broker timetable changes by the airline to provide an early morning and late evening flight.
The current one flight per day service has been operated by the airline since 2005 but the timings to and from Aberdeen have come under fire, especially from offshore workers who are having to cut short home leave in order to make their helicopter connections.