An organisation representing travel agents has said the cancellation of flights from Aberdeen is a “bitter blow” for those hoping to travel.
The Evening Express revealed airline TUI was cancelling all of its chartered services from the north-east to the Spanish destinations of Majorca, Ibiza, Reus and Tenerife, as well as Turkey and Rhodes, until October.
The firm blamed the “unprecedented halt of worldwide travel” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) has now warned the axing of the airline’s summer schedule could lead to jobs in the sector being lost.
Its president Joanne Dooey said: “This is simply appalling news for Scottish travellers and travel agents alike.
“There has been so much uncertainty about when people can travel from Scotland, and where they can travel to, for weeks.
“The omission of Spain from the ‘green light’ list of countries where Scots can travel without quarantine has led to insecurity for both holidaymakers and the travel trade.
“We have been warning for weeks about the possible loss of flight routes and the impact this will have on travellers and the Scottish economy, not just for this summer but potentially for years to come.
“It is questionable if, once we lose a flight route, we will ever see it return.
“The travels sector is a close knit community and we all feel for our friends and colleagues at TUI as we know this will have been an extremely difficult decision for them, however, we fear this may not be the last announcement of this kind in the sector.
“With any loss of flights like there is there is the risk of job losses too.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Other operators, such as Ryanair, are continuing to offer flights out of the city.
Roger Hunt, interim managing director at Aberdeen International Airport, said: “We are in constant dialogue with our airline partners to ensure that we support them with their restart plans, and after a number of really challenging months, and with lockdown beginning to show signs of easing, it is reassuring to see a number of routes restarting and frequencies increasing from our terminal.
“As the traffic slowly builds we have also increased our focus on maintaining public safety and that of our staff through the introduction of a series of enhanced safety measures. Bringing back business safely remains a key priority.
“The uncertainty for the airlines and passengers introduced by quarantine has unfortunately contributed to the decision by TUI not to re-commence flights for summer 2020 from Aberdeen International Airport.
“However, it is pleasing that we can continue to offer passengers flights to Alicante, Malaga and Faro this year with Ryanair.
“We remain committed to working closely with our airline partners on the introduction of sustainable summer sun routes for summer 2021 and beyond.”
TUI was contacted for comment.