The Scottish Government’s Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay MSP, has agreed to meet campaigners calling for cheaper airfares to and from Scottish Islands.
The group wrote to the Minister on Friday last week to request a meeting, after hitting over 14,000 followers on Facebook in little over a week.
Responding to a question by David Stewart MSP in the Scottish Parliament at Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Questions, the Minister said: “I am aware of the issues surrounding air fares in the Highlands & Islands.
“This Government agreed to continue with the Air Discount Scheme (ADS) for the benefit of users of these flights. I have met with representatives from the
Island Authorities who also raised this issue amongst others. I have agreed to meet MSPs and campaigners and also have asked for a scoping exercise to be
carried out looking into the issue”.
Following his announcement in the chamber, his department contacted the group to arrange a meeting. Campaigner Scott Preston, who founded the Facebook page, is
keen to meet with the Minister after meeting with Loganair, saying: “We’re delighted that the Minister is willing to meet with a delegation from our
group. The support from people not just in Scotland but across the world, as well as from politicians across the political spectrum, has been fantastic. Our
voice is simply too large to ignore.
“We will now contact the Minister to make arrangements. We are aiming to meet with him after we meet with Loganair next week. We have always said that Loganair does not bear full responsibility for the excessive cost of flying to and from the Isles and that Government plays a role. “Next week’s meeting will ensure that we have a thorough understanding of what can be done at a Governmental level to help tackle the scourge of
excessive air fares.”