Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Reaction to troubles at airline

Reaction from the Scottish government and politicians to Highland Airways being placed into administration.

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

A spokeswoman said: "It is a great disappointment that Highland Airways has gone into voluntary administration.

"The company has made every effort to seek a buyer who would maintain the vital services which the airline provides.

"Also Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish government have worked tirelessly in an effort to ensure that the company had time to find a solution to maintain the business.

"Unfortunately, all options have now been exhausted.

"The company has had an ongoing and open dialogue with its clients and every effort will be made to bring in other operators quickly to minimise any break in service provision."

HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS ENTERPRISE

The public agency said: "We deeply regret that Highland Airways has been unable to recover from its difficulties, despite rigorous efforts to identify a solution.

"We are supporting the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment to assist those facing redundancy in Inverness and Stornoway to seek alternative employment.

"Our close dialogue with the management over recent weeks has provided a clear picture of options for all elements of its business and we are hopeful that other operators can be identified to take over Highland Airway's routes and that passenger disruption can be minimised."

MP ANGUS MACNEIL

The SNP MP for the Western Isles said: "Highland Airways have provided a reliable service over the years in the islands, and it is a sad day when the company's demise has come about in this way.

"I will be asking questions as to the role played by the various creditors including HM Revenue and Customs.

"It is a difficult day for the staff and management of the company who have endeavoured in every way to keep the company going over the past couple of months, when the situation facing the company was bleak.

"We are still awaiting news on whether the administrator or another company will be flying the service in the coming days and weeks.

"My sympathies go to those whose jobs are in a precarious position as well as travellers and NHS patients who need the service."

MP DANNY ALEXANDER

The MP for the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey: "My thoughts are with the staff who have worked so hard to save the company over the last few weeks, often without taking any pay themselves.

"I have worked hard with the company over the last couple of months to help them get support from ministers and the Scotland Office has been supportive.

"There has been strong cross-party local support and real commitment from local agencies like HIE.

"Despite this, in the end, it is the Treasury's unwillingness to deal fairly with the company that has pushed the firm over the edge.

"If HM Revenue and Customs had been willing to live up to its promise to support businesses through the recession, then 100 people would still have a job this morning. Instead, local families, the local economy, and the taxman will all lose."



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SEE ALSO
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Airline's hopes for new investor
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25 Jan 10 |  Highlands and Islands
Clarity call on Welsh air route
25 Jan 10 |  North West Wales

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