A north-east politician has called for a meeting with the Transport Secretary to discuss concerns over the loss of flights from Aberdeen to Gatwick.
Scottish Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, David Duguid, said the change had affected both holidaymakers connecting to long-haul flights and the local business community.
The easyJet service to Gatwick was axed in February with the budget airline blaming “a reduction in demand”.
Campaigners have since launched a petition which has been signed by more than 3,000 people in the hope the route will eventually be reinstated.
MP David Duguid now wishes to hold a meeting with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to discuss concerns raised by residents living in the north-east.
He said: “I have written to the Transport Secretary to request a meeting to discuss the concerns of my constituents about the loss of the Aberdeen-Gatwick easyJet flights. Regional connectivity is absolutely vital for the north-east – particularly for our business community.
“But the loss of this route has also hit those travelling for leisure or catching connecting flights.
“I look forward to discussing these issues in detail with the Secretary of State.
“I have also contacted easyJet directly but the company has so far simply pointed out that travellers can fly from Inverness instead.
“That misses the point completely, and in my view, has more to do with the SNP’s policy to exempt HIAL from Air Passenger Duty – which has put Aberdeen International Airport at a significant commercial disadvantage.”
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A Scottish Government spokesperson said air passenger duty was still a reserved power and the exemption for Highlands had been in place since 2001.
She said: “The Scottish Government has been clear that it supports retaining the exemption once full devolution of the tax is completed, given the importance aviation plays in supporting residents, businesses and tourism in the area.
“We work closely with Scotland’s airports to help secure new routes that improve business connectivity and inbound tourism.
“We will continue to support all Scottish Airports, including Aberdeen, to grow the number of routes to and from Scotland.”
The petition calling for the reinstatement of the flight can be found at www.change.org/p/aberdeen-international-airport-help-us-bring-back-our-aberdeen-to-gatwick-flight