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Air traffic controllers urged to settle pay row after Inverness plane diverted; easyJet passengers ‘dumped’ at Glasgow and told to make own way home; Highlands and Islands Airports bosses say they want more talks in a bid to resolve dispute


By Neil MacPhail


AN angry passenger “dumped” in Glasgow when his flight to Inverness was diverted due to an industrial dispute has called for an end to the row.

More than 100 people on board a flight to the Highland capital from Gatwick ended up stranded late at night 170 miles away.

They claim they were left to fend for themselves by easyJet after the delayed flight could not land at Inverness because of a curfew imposed due to a work-to-rule by air traffic controllers.

Some were reduced to tears according to furious passenger David Clafton, and he has urged bosses at the airport’s operators, Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) to end the dispute.

The airport closes at 10.30pm and Mr Clafton, a quality manager for a medical software firm, was on board a flight which was due to get into Inverness at 10.10pm.

He said: “The flight was running late due to previous air traffic control delays and when we took off from Gatwick at 9.15pm, it was clear to regular travellers that we were not going to make the 10.30pm curfew imposed by air traffic control as part of their dispute with HIAL.

“We were informed at about 10.10pm by the crew that we were being diverted to Glasgow and that onward transport would be arranged.

“While still on the plane, several of us received a text from easyJet saying that no onward travel was being provided and to fend for ourselves.

“Some people were really angry and some were in tears."

Full story in today's Inverness Courier.



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