Ken McLeod, president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, said that today’s (7 June 2019) strike action at Aberdeen and Glasgow airports would do nothing to boost consumer confidence against a backdrop of recent challenges for the travel sector.
He said: “It is extremely disappointing that it has not been possible to find a resolution to this issue without inconveniencing travellers, many of whom will have experienced significant delays and upheaval, including loss of days from hard-earned holidays.
“It has been a very difficult time for the travel industry because, despite reassurances from the government, there continues to be such uncertainty about Brexit. We know that many travellers have delayed plans or decided not to go overseas until issues around travel to the EU post-Brexit have been resolved, and industrial action such as this only further undermines confidence in air travel.
“We can only hope that both sides will get back around the negotiating table before the next period of planned action on June 10 to avoid causing further frustration to the travelling public.”
SPAA CALLS FOR RE-THINK ON STRIKE ACTION AT ABERDEEN + GLASGOW AIRPORTS (05 June 2019)
Ken McLeod, President of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, has called on staff and operators at two of Scotland’s busiest airports to work together to avoid planned industrial action which will impact on thousands of leisure and business travellers. Mr McLeod has also called for 'a resolution to be reached' in the ongoing HIAL (Highlands & Islands Airports) dispute.
A long-running dispute over pay and pensions will lead to staff at Aberdeen and Glasgow airports staging two 12-hour walk outs on June 7 and June 10, along with a further period of action at Glasgow scheduled for June 14.
Mr McLeod 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.
He 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.
“There is still time to resolve this before the first day of action in June. 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 HIAL, which operates a number of Scottish regional airports.
Members of the Prospect union have just announced plans to stage 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, Sumburgh, Benbecula and Dundee airports.
Mr 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.”
05/06/19 + 07/06/19 - with thanks to Tricker PR