VIDEO: Minister gives commitment to pursuing flights concerns

Transport Minister Derek Mackay gave some strong commitments to working with campaigners, councils and MSPs to look at the cost and reliability of air services to the Scottish islands.

In response to a question raised by Labour’s Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Mackay said they would aim for consensus across the Parliament on the way forward for the island services.

He said it had been agreed at a recent meeting with councils from the islands that a Scoping paper would be done to look at the services fully, going beyond just the issue of cost but also reliability.

He said the Scottish Government shared the concerns of the community about the nature of the service and the increased prices.

He said there was no real prospect of competition and that operators should be aware of that.

David Stewart MSP said: “The Minister has agreed to meet me formally at 4.30pm next Wednesday in the Scottish Parliament when I hope to emphasise how important it is that the flights to and from our Islands are more affordable for those that rely on this lifeline service”.