EasyJet warns of Inverness flight disruption

EasyJet has warned of disruption to flights due to a planned walkout by air traffic controllers at Inverness airport next week.

The strike action is planned for the Scottish Highlands airport on June 12.

EasyJet is laying on an addition flights from Inverness to Gatwick on June 11 and from Gatwick to Inverness on June 12 but warned that seat availability was limited.

“Like other airlines, easyJet expects disruption to our Inverness flying programme on Wednesday 12th June,” the airline said.

“Affected customers can change their flight free of charge or receive a refund.

“EasyJet has advised all affected customers of any flight changes via e-mail and SMS.”

Meanwhile, a further strike has been announced by workers at Glasgow airport for four hours on June 14.

The Unite union plans the stoppage in addition to two 12-hour strikes on June 7 and 10 at Glasgow and Aberdeen airports as part of a long-running dispute over pay and pensions.

Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association president Ken McLeod called on staff and operators at Glasgow and Aberdeen airports to work together to avoid the planned industrial action which will impact on thousands of travellers.

He urged both sides to do as much as possible to find a resolution without inconveniencing travellers and further undermining their confidence in the travel industry on the back of Brexit uncertainty.

McLeod said: “The travel industry has already suffered this year because passengers are concerned about travelling in a post-Brexit landscape, and now there is this very real threat of industrial action at two of our main airports.

“Whatever the rights or wrongs of the situation, the real losers will be the travelling public who will find their flights cancelled or delayed and their plans for holidays or business travel disrupted.

“On the other hand, the winner could be Edinburgh airport – where staff are not involved in industrial action – which will quite happily pick up the extra business from travellers who would otherwise have flown from Glasgow and Aberdeen.

“There is still time to resolve this before the first day of action on June 7. I would urge both sides to reopen talks to do everything possible to avoid a strike and allow customers to go ahead with their business and holiday plans.”

The SPAA also warned that passengers in the Highlands and Islands could face further flight disruption this summer with no end in sight to a pay dispute between air traffic controllers and Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial), which operates a number of Scottish regional airports.

Members of the Prospect union plan industrial action on June 12 after talks with Hial failed to reach a resolution. A 24-hour strike last month led to the closure of Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumbrugh, Benbecula and Dundee airports.

McLeod said: “While strikes at airports operated by Scottish government-owned Hial may not affect the same number of passengers, the impact on travellers is perhaps more serious because there are very limited alternative options for travel in these areas.

“We can only hope that, across the board, common sense will prevail and that resolutions can be reached which result in minimal impact on the travelling public.”

*The closure of Lille airport in France on August 6-7 means that easyJet will be flying into Paris Charles de Gaulle instead.



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