MP says airlines should make up flights shortfall

Aberdeen International  Airport
Aberdeen International Airport

Passengers will be the biggest victims if airlines fail to step in and fill the gap in services at Aberdeen International Airport.

The view came from a north-east MP after a number of high profile firms scrapped services to and from the Granite City.

Next month, easyJet will halt flights to Gatwick and British Airways has faced criticism for cancelling trips and prioritising long-haul routes in periods of disruption.

British Airways recently withdrew flights from the city to London’s Heathrow Airport and easyJet’s Gatwick route will also stop next month.

As a result there will be 140,000 fewer seats between Aberdeen and London and concerns have also been raised over Flybe flights from the city as the struggling firm prepares to be taken over by a consortium, Connect Airways.

Gordon’s Conservative MP Colin Clark has warned of a scenario where there is increased demand but reduced capacity.

The MP met new airport boss Steve Szalay to discuss the recent upgrade at the facility as well as developments at Heathrow.

He has now called for major carriers to fill the void left by the cancellations.

He said: “Airlines should not be short-sighted and back the investment made at Aberdeen. There will be 140,000 fewer seats between Aberdeen and London after next month’s disappointing cuts.

“There may well be room for a new operator, but I would like to see BA fulfil their commitment
to regional connectivity.

“The new AWPR will increase passengers who are keen to use Aberdeen with a reduction in journey time from south of the city.

“We must avoid the perfect storm of increased demand with reduced capacity.”

Mr Clark previously raised the importance of connectivity with Heathrow in Parliament.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP pledged a proportion of Heathrow, which is due to add 25,000 flights a year if plans for a third runway are approved, will be reserved for UK regional airports.

BA was contacted for comment.