The dramatic fall in worldwide oil prices must mean lower air fares says Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.
Airlines are expected to have much smaller fuel bills this year compared to last year with the fall in oil prices and Shetland MSP Tavish Scott wants to see the savings used to make travelling more affordable for those living on Shetland.
The price of return flights from Shetland are notoriously high, a typical midweek return flight to Glasgow costing almost £400.
Mr Scott called on Loganair, a franchise airline of Flybe who fly from Shetland, to cut the high prices of flights from the Islands.
Speaking in Lerwick he said, “Shetland garages have reflected falling oil prices at local petrol pumps. Good for them. Everyone in Shetland benefits from falling oil prices as we all need a car or a bus to get around.
“We are still very much in winter and people are also noticing the cost of filling domestic fuel tanks for heating is falling too. Shetland has very high fuel poverty so price reductions are good news.
“But I have seen no difference in the cost of flying. Why has Loganair and other airlines not cut ticket prices reflecting their savings in fuel bills? All the airlines walloped passengers with fuel surcharges in past years.
“These were fuel cost rises passed on to passengers. We have now seen 4 months of steadily falling oil prices. Why therefore have the airlines not reflected that in ticket prices?
“Shetlanders still pay full fare tickets of £400 plus to get to the Scottish mainland.
“Loganair also get the Air Discount Scheme money that cuts ticket prices by 40%. So it is time that these savings were passed on to island travellers. I expect Loganair to reflect the reality of oil prices in their air tickets.”
A spokesman for Loganair said: “Contrary to Mr Scott’s statement, Loganair, unlike many airlines, has not ‘walloped passengers with fuel surcharges in past years’. In fact no fuel surcharges have been applied by Loganair since 2006.
“The recent and dramatic reduction in oil prices was completely unforeseen. Loganair, in common with most airlines, manages the risk of fuel price changes by purchasing its fuel up to one to two years in advance.
“At a time of falling prices this can unfortunately mean that the airline does not see the benefit of falling prices for an extended time.
“An additional factor is that fuel prices are in US dollars. With the recent decline in sterling against the dollar this has had an impact on the final price in sterling.”