Flight troubles almost derail transport meeting 

A long-awaited transport meeting was almost derailed by flight troubles.

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael is due to meet Scottish government transport minister Jenny Gilruth this afternoon (Tuesday) to discuss growing concerns with the “lifeline” ferry service.

But in an “ironic twist”, Mr Carmichael was almost stranded on the mainland after last night’s Loganair flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh had to turn back due to fog.

Mr Carmichael said he and other passengers were queuing for almost two hours at Aberdeen airport – only to be told there was no flight availability until Wednesday.

Loganair has since confirmed that a new flight was specifically arranged this morning to take the passengers to Sumburgh. 

Passengers had been offered a pod on tonight’s NorthLink ferry instead, but Mr Carmichael said he was not aware of anyone taking that option. 

He said there was also some confusion over whether passengers would be entitled to accommodation tonight.

In the end, Mr Carmichael was able to catch a flight to Orkney and is scheduled to board the same onward flight as Ms Gilruth into Sumburgh later today. 

Mr Carmichael said: “It’s not easy for Loganair when these things happen and even I don’t blame Loganair for there being fog.

“But when fog does happened I think it’s important that people who are affected get good customer service and there was some room for improvement on that front last night.”

Mr Carmichael said his main purpose for travelling had been this afternoon’s meeting with Ms Gilruth “which does add an element of irony”.

Mr Carmichael, along with Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart, have been requesting that Ms Gilruth visit since photos of people “sleeping rough” on a crowded NorthLink ferry crossing emerged online in June.

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston also wrote to the minister about his concerns.

Ms Gilruth is scheduled to meet Mr Carmichael and Ms Wishart later today.

Meetings have also been scheduled with SIC members, media and representatives of the seafood sector.

Loganair said itsflight had been unable to land due to weather conditions.

“The aircraft returned to Aberdeen where arrangements were made by our ground handling agents to provide overnight hotel accommodation at Aberdeen Airport, prior to customers resuming their journey this morning on a new flight which has been specifically arranged for them,” it added.


Add Your Comment
  • Paula Goddard

    • August 9th, 2022 10:53

    Should they not have travelled by ferry to experience a pod ?

  • Alan Skinner

    • August 9th, 2022 12:29

    My wife and I were also in Aberdeen airport, from the Glasgow flight to Sumburgh being unable to land. I also do not blame Loganair for fog, but the handling of the stranded passengers was utterly shambolic. It took more than two hours for hotels to be arranged. It seemed as though the situation had never been experienced before. There was certainly no plan of action. We arrived at our hotel long after the dining room had closed, and there were no food options at the airport. We got up at 4.00 a.m. this morning to find that no taxis had been booked, so we had to pay to get back to the airport. Some planning and training is urgently needed. I believe the staff involved do not work directly for Loganair, but Loganair has a responsibility to ensure that its stranded passengers are treated properly.


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