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Transport / Mail flights may fly from Glasgow in future

Photo: Ronnie Robertson

MAIL sent to Shetland may be processed in Glasgow and flown from the city in the future instead of Aberdeen.

It comes amid concern that commitments agreed in a recent pay deal around changes to working times may not be met if mail flights to Scottish islands from Aberdeen and Inverness continue.

Locally Loganair is currently contracted to fly Royal Mail parcels and letters from Aberdeen to Sumburgh in the mornings, while it also runs mail services for Orkney and the Western Isles.

However, in light of a new agreement last year the Communication Workers’ Union said there is a “potential significant impact” on flights which transport mail to the Scottish islands.

It is suggested this could include mail missing connecting flights.

A proposed solution has been worked up which would see mail for the islands processed in Glasgow instead of Aberdeen or Inverness, and flown from the city’s airport.

In a joint letter, the Royal Mail and the CWU said it is recognised there will be a “loss of workload” in the Aberdeen and Inverness mail centres, especially on night shift.

“Based on provisional modelling, both parties anticipate that any frontline headcount reduction can be addressed through the reduction in external and flexible resource, though there will be a reduction in mail screener roles at both plants,” the letter added.

The Royal Mail and CWU said they were “committed to developing options” for workers at the Aberdeen and Inverness centres who may be impacted by the changes.

Loganair said it did not wish to comment.

On a wider level, the Royal Mail is keen to move a proportion of its services from flights to road and rail.

It said: “Moving this mail to road and rail will improve our green credentials and increase our ability to take traffic that we don’t currently have the capacity to handle due to the limitations of the size and number of flights that we operate.”

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It has proposed to remove up to 18 mainland flights from the air operations on a phased basis over the next two years, with the Aberdeen hub set to close in April and Inverness following in 2025.

Royal Mail added that moving more transport to road and rail means it will take longer to move items from some parts of the country to another.

It said as a result mail centres and delivery offices “need to change start times to take account of the longer travel time and ensure customer service targets are achieved”.

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