Positive changes following meeting with Transport Minister about Loganair

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Highlands and Islands MSP and Scottish (Labour) Transport Spokesman, David Stewart (pictured) was reassured after meeting with Transport Minister, Derek Mackay regarding the latest situation with Loganair.

The meeting held on Tuesday afternoon discussed the way forward in addressing the problems which have blighted the airline in recent months.

Those present at the meeting also included Highlands and Islands MSPs Rhoda Grant and Mary Scanlon, and Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan.

The Transport Minister advised those present that Loganair were taking all incidents involving the aircraft and reliability very seriously, as customer confidence had been seriously affected.

The company recognised three main areas for improvement, with those highlighted including staffing issues, engineering ability and spare parts availability.

David Stewart asked the Minister if he could source figures of punctuality and reliability prior to 2014, to establish if there was an on going problem over many years or was it just in the past year.

The figures produced in 2014 and 2015 show that the punctuality of aircraft arriving at Highlands and Islands Airports is down in 2015 compared to the previous year.

The biggest issue raised in June 2015, when complaints spiked, was around delays of more than three hours at some airports.

The Minister advised those at the meeting that the current Chief Executive Stewart Adams is stepping down in April and it will important to see whether Loganair staff support the new Chief Executive.

Speaking after yesterday’s meeting David Stewart said: “I am positive about the changes that Loganair and the Transport Minister are promising.

“It looks like they are making positive progress to improve the situation. However, we cannot afford to be complacent and we need to keep pressing Loganair to ensure that these changes are put in place.

“There was a lack of improvement in January at an important time of the year for winter travel. We need to question further back, prior to 2014 when there were less issues raised.”