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Caithness News Bulletins August 2003

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Wick Airport Aircraft At Wick

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Constructive Dialogue on Proposed Wick to Glasgow Air Link

Commercial discussions on the introduction of a new air service linking Wick and Glasgow are progressing.

Talks between Highlands and Islands Airports Limited and Highland Airways have moved forward in recent weeks and the airline is now finalising its operational and commercial plans for the proposed route.
Highlands and Islands Airports will then consider the proposal in light of the additional opening hours required at the airport to support early morning and evening flights between Wick and Glasgow.

Bob Macleod, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports said: “We continue to work with Highland Airways on this proposed service and have now clarified many of the outstanding issues regarding its operation and priorities, both for ourselves and the airline. We look forward to receiving Highland Airways’ finalised operational and commercial plans for the route. Since the extension of opening hours at Wick would involve extra costs for us, both parties must be certain that the proposals are sound and enduring.

“This potential service has been subject to considerable local media attention. However, until all relevant issues and negotiations are complete neither party can make any definitive announcement. Nonetheless we are both comfortable to say that we continue to work constructively together to firm up many of the outstanding issues.

 “We have also spoken in depth to local stakeholders, including The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, on this topic and are keeping them appraised of developments,” added Mr Macleod.
Basil O’Fee, Highland Airways commercial director said: “A Wick to Glasgow link has been a priority for the local community for many years.  However a further matter we must address in our preparations is to ensure that the aircraft assigned to Wick effectively defrays many of the considerable fixed costs by securing other regular usage. We are also keen to secure the widest possible community support for the service so as to minimise the downside risks, particularly in the initial start-up phase.

“We fully appreciate that the Caithness and Sutherland community is impatient to enrich the timetabling and destinations served by Wick Airport. We very much hope that this eagerness will transfer into solid support for any new service that is eventually launched.

“We are working closely with the airport operator and others to address the operational and commercial aspects of this service and we plan submitting our finalised proposals to Highlands and Islands Airports in the near future,” said Mr O’Fee.

Earlier Air Services Items
Regulatory Burden - June 2003

Air Traffic Up In Highland May 2003
HIAL Letter Regarding Speculation about Wick Airport February 2003