Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, and MP, Angus MacNeil, have commented on Loganair’s decision to stop their morning flights between Edinburgh and Stornoway on Fridays.

The Comhairle’s decision to pull the funding plug on Stornoway to Benbecula flights has had the knock on effect of leaving no plane available on Friday mornings for Stornoway to Edinburgh.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“The Comhairle’s decision to stop funding Barra and Benbecula flights has now had consequences even for flights the Comhairle didn’t fund at all. Loganair now say that with the Stornoway to Benbecula flights dropping down to three days a week, they have no plane available to run the seven am flight from Edinburgh to Stornoway on a Friday, or the return from Stornoway to Edinburgh.

“I declare an interest, in as much as I use the flight that Loganair are cancelling every week in life to return from Parliament. I have to say though that I will not be alone in being unimpressed. I am unclear whether the Comhairle anticipated all this when they cut funding for Benbecula and Barra, but the consequence of their decision has been to diminish air services throughout the Western Isles as a whole.”

Angus MacNeil added:

“The lack of planning, by councillors who voted needlessly for the budget cut now appears to be impacting Stornoway, with two flights a week on Monday and Friday being cut from Stornoway to Inverness and the Friday morning from Stornoway to Edinburgh also being cut.

“Due to the action taken by councillors, Stornoway links to Inverness are cut by 25% on a Monday and Friday to three flights per day, but on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the normal service of four flights will remain.

“It had been projected that Stornoway would lose four flights from the cuts but the sum effect is that Stornoway is losing seven flights and the islands altogether are losing 21 flights.  This is as a result of the greatest single transport blow in 40 years that has unbelievable been administered by our own councillors with damage that seems to be increasing by the week.

“I would plead with them to think again, hopefully it is not too late for councillors who are meant to be independent to act for the good of the islands economy and back the plan put forward by SNP Councillors.”