Frequent flyers have launched a campaign to persuade an airline to relaunch a “lifeline” route from Aberdeen.
The Evening Express revealed in November that easyJet was to axe journeys between Aberdeen International Airport (AIA) and Gatwick in London, and flights ended on February 8.
The budget airline blamed “a reduction on demand” for the move and now two campaigners want to change its mind.
Rachel May, of Newtonhill, has started a petition to promote the campaign – and almost 300 people signed it in the first three days.
Ms May has been supported by Val Fry, of Fetterangus, who agrees the airline should do a 180 – or another operator should step in to take on the route.
Now those flights have ceased, people wishing to fly to London from the north-east have had the choice of flying with easyJet to Luton – 33 miles (53km) north of the capital, to London City or Heathrow with Flybe, or Heathrow with British Airways.
Ms May said: “Gatwick is 27 miles (43km) south of London, so is ideal for people like me who are visiting the south of London for a reason.
“My mother lives in Worthing on the south coast of England, near Brighton, and it’s a 30-minute train ride from Gatwick.
“Now this route has gone, it’s made the alternatives really difficult to visit her – and she is not able to travel into London for City or Heathrow airports to travel up here. This flight was a lifeline to everyone in and around Aberdeen for business and pleasure, connecting us to the rest of the world.
“I started the petition in the hope it will change easyJet’s mind and the support we’ve had has been amazing.
“It is deeply frustrating that, just as Aberdeen has the new AWPR to get people to the airport faster from around the north-east, a key route has been cut.”
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Ms Fry said: “EasyJet’s claim that there wasn’t enough demand was simply not the case.
“Every time I travelled on the route, the plane was completely booked up.
“I frequently visit friends who live in Kent and Gatwick is much closer to Kent and much more convenient than Heathrow. The City flights are always very expensive. I also visit friends in Spain and Gatwick is ideal for transferring onwards for Spanish flights – now that option is gone.”
EasyJet did not comment on the petition. Previously, a spokesman said: “We concentrate our efforts on maintaining and developing routes which prove most popular with passengers.”
AIA also did not comment, but previously a spokeswoman said: “We are extremely disappointed at easyJet’s decision to withdraw its Gatwick service. While we do remain well connected to London, with flights to Heathrow, London City and Luton, we will, of course, be speaking to existing and other airlines about the possibility of strengthening our links with the city, which is an important part of our route network.”
Visit tinyurl.com/easyjetpetition to see the petition.