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Transport / Loganair cancels flights as strike looms

A Loganair Saab 340.

LOGANAIR is cancelling flights to and from Sumburgh Airport on 12 June due to the proposed strike from air traffic controllers.

The airline will also make changes to its schedules on 11 and 13 June, with extra services set to be added on affected routes.

The Prospect union announced on Wednesday that there would be a second one-day strike on 12 June after holding one earlier this month.

The industrial action stems from a pay dispute between air traffic control members of the Prospect union and employer Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL).

Loganair is cancelling services to and from Benbecula, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh on 12 June.

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “We regret this ongoing dispute by air traffic control staff is leading to further disruption to Loganair’s customers.

“We will do all that we reasonably can to help them re-plan their journeys on alternative flights and days.”

He added that the “behaviour of the Prospect union is increasingly bizarre”.

“Its full-time official met with MSPs for a briefing at the Scottish Parliament yesterday and made no mention of a new strike date, yet one was announced within an hour of the end of that session,” Hinkles said.

“It begs the question as to who is really pulling the strings in this dispute. It was also highlighted that a new offer was expected from HIAL on which the union would need to consult its members.

“We warmly welcome that opportunity for the action to be resolved, but regrettably, our customers are faced with another day of travel disruption in the meantime.”

The boss of government-owned HIAL said on Wednesday that he was “extremely disappointed” air traffic controllers are set for a further strike.

Managing director Inglis Lyon also called on the Prospect union to suspend action until it has considered proposals that are to be tabled by bosses next week.

HIAL has said as a public organisation it is bound by the Scottish Government pay policy and “simply cannot implement pay awards that greatly exceed the policy”.

The company has uploaded to its website a list of the steps it has taken in an attempt to resolve the dispute.