The UK Transport Secretary has agreed that links between Aberdeen and London should be granted “particular focus” in a national review of regional air connectivity, after a meeting with a local MP.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid met Secretary of State Grant Shapps yesterday to discuss the loss of routes from the north-east to the UK capital.
The talks followed a petition signed by over 5,000 of people calling for the reinstatement of the Aberdeen-Gatwick flight that was axed by Easyjet in November last year.
About three million passengers use Aberdeen International Airport each year, but the number of flights has been gradually reducing, with a decline of more than 25% in four years.
The UK Government announced last month that it was reviewing regional air connectivity across the country. Aviation Minister Paul Maynard said the plans were part of the government’s “levelling up” agenda to drive economic growth outwith London and the South East.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Duguid said
I had a very positive meeting with the Transport Secretary about regional connectivity and how important it is to the north-east economy.
Mr Shapps confirmed to me that connections between Aberdeen and London – and to Gatwick in particular – would be given particular focus in the review following my representations.
I have had a great deal of correspondence and contact from constituents on this issue.
The petition to reinstate the Easyjet route has clearly galvanised people across the region.
I will continue to speak up for people in this area at every opportunity. It is vital for our local economy that we maintain and improve air links to and from Aberdeen.