Emergency discounts of 50% for travellers flying because of death or unexpected illness are being offered by the Scottish airline Loganair, following a successful campaign by Islanders Against Flybe and Loganair’s Excessive Prices (IAFLEP).
The campaign attracted support from politicians including SNP MEP Alyn Smith, who brought the issue all the way to the European Commission in Brussels.
“What a fantastic campaign!
“My remit covers the entirety of Scotland, so I’ve taken my fair share of flights to the Highlands and Islands, and seen how vital the service is to remote communities.
“Fair play to them, Loganair have met with IAFLEP and implemented this compassionate discount that is going to be a huge help for folk going through an already difficult time.
“I’ve been following the campaign closely and, while I couldn’t make the meeting itself, hats off to Scott Preston and the rest of the IAFLEP campaigners for keeping us in the loop.
“The Commission got back to me just a few days ago and said that the price of a seat is a commercial decision, which in turn is based on the competition of the route. Loganair use specialist aircraft and fly to airports that wouldn’t be able to manage the kind of huge plane used by the big commercial airlines, and it turns out they’re not even making much of a profit – 7% last year, compared to EasyJet’s 13% (or £6million versus £581 million) according to IAFLEP.
“While I’m delighted by this outcome, it does raise the larger issue of how lifeline services for remote communities need to be looked at and reassessed. For example, the Scottish Government this year extended the Air Discount Scheme until March 2019, offering a 40% discount on core airfares, which is great news for the residents of the Highlands and Islands.”
Scott Preston added:
“This is a monumental change, the first enhancement for air travel to all the isles since 2006 and its introduction shows the power local people have in changing their communities for the better.
“The scheme has been conceived, considered and implemented in just three months and it is worth considering why change through political channels takes so long when we have clearly demonstrated what can be achieved in such a short space of time.”