Busi­ness­man warns of city trade loss due to de­layed flights

Dundee: Call for im­prove­ments to air travel link­ing Tay­side to Lon­don

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - derek healey dhealey@the­courier.co.uk

A lead­ing Dundee busi­ness­man has warned lack of in­vest­ment in key travel links could see the city miss out on vi­tal trade.

Paul Dur­rant, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the UK Games Fund, called for ma­jor im­prove­ments to flights con­nect­ing the city with other in­dus­try hubs.

The busi­ness de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ist, whose com­pany was set up to help sup­port the UK gam­ing in­dus­try, was on a Stansted-bound flight on Tues­day when a me­chan­i­cal is­sue meant he was de­layed for around an hour.

Mr Dur­rant claimed it was just the lat­est in a long line of is­sues with the ser­vice and said the in­ci­dent was in­dica­tive of a much wider prob­lem.

He said: “I’ve been us­ing this flight a cou­ple of times each month for a num­ber of years now and there are reg­u­larly is­sues. It’s a ter­ri­ble in­tro­duc­tion to Dundee and gives off a bad im­pres­sion of how the city op­er­ates. “The re­al­ity now is that with the Queens­ferry Cross­ing open­ing, many will sim­ply opt to fly for Lon­don meet­ings from Ed­in­burgh in­stead.

“That will make the route less sus­tain­able and means we could lose it al­to­gether. I think that would be very dam­ag­ing for Dundee.”

He con­firmed he had can­celled all fu­ture travel from Dundee Air­port for his firm and warned oth­ers could be forced fol­low suit.

Ali­son Hen­der­son, CEO of Dundee and An­gus Cham­ber of Com­merce, said the qual­ity of trans­port in and out of the city is a “very im­por­tant is­sue” for in­dus­tries look­ing to in­vest. She said: “The Dundee to Lon­don route is ab­so­lutely vi­tal for the city and busi­nesses are very keen to main­tain this link.”

Lo­ganair chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer Mau­rice Boyle de­fended the com­pany’s record on re­li­a­bil­ity and said more than three-quar­ters of flights on the ser­vice had ar­rived within their tar­geted ar­rival pe­riod over the past three months.

He added: “We would like that to be higher, but the fault lies mostly with air traf­fic con­trol re­stric­tions in the Lon­don area.

“We have spo­ken at length with Na­tional Air Traf­fic Ser­vices over this is­sue, and they have as­sured us that we are not the only car­rier suf­fer­ing de­lays, and that they are mon­i­tor­ing the is­sue.”

Pic­ture: Dougie Ni­col­son.

Ser­vices at Dundee air­port have been crit­i­cised.

Pic­ture: Dougie Ni­col­son.

Paul Dur­rant, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the UK Games Fund, said he has can­celled all fu­ture travel from Dundee air­port.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.