Transport / HIAL to submit new business case to government as more talks planned on pay dispute

Sumburgh Airport in December. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

HIGHLANDS and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) believes there may be “further options” available which could help towards reaching an agreement in the ongoing pay dispute with unions.

It comes after Loganair announced on Friday that it would temporarily suspend some flights between HIAL airports for more than a month as a result of work to rule industrial action due to begin in mid-March.

This included flights between Sumburgh and Kirkwall/Inverness, but not the Shetland flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow as these airports are not part of the HIAL network.

Industrial action causes Loganair to temporarily suspend Sumburgh/Kirkwall/Inverness service

Loganair said this was because work to rule action from Prospect members – which includes not working overtime and withdrawal of goodwill – could cumulatively affect the ability for flights between HIAL airports to run to schedule.

In a statement issued on Monday, HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said he and chair Lorna Jack discussed the industrial action and Loganair’s announcement with Scottish transport minister Jenny Gilruth over the weekend.


HIAL is wholly owned by the Scottish Government, and its last pay offer was rejected by unions.

Lyon said HIAL has developed a new business case for government agency Transport Scotland, “which we will submit today and discuss with union representatives over the next few days”.

“Having previously exhausted our options in terms of the existing parameters of public sector pay flexibility, we have been advised that there may now be further options which could help pursue an agreement which works for all parties involved,” he said.

“The Loganair announcement to temporarily suspend some flights would cause considerable disruption for our island communities, and we are acutely aware of the impact that could have on people who rely on what can often be described as lifeline services in those areas.

“Having met with union representatives this morning to provide an update on the position, and on the assumption that the business case is approved, we will be having further discussions soon.”

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