AIR fares to Shetland should be cut following the major oil price fall so passengers benefit like motorists, islands MSP Tavish Scott told airline Loganair today.
He said Shetlanders were paying £400 or more to fly to the mainland and they deserved cheaper tickets now that drivers were making savings at the pumps.
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The call to Loganair - which flies on behalf of Flybe from Sumburgh to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness - follows the crude oil price dropping from $110 to $60 since September.
Mr Scott, a former transport minister, 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 four months of steadily falling oil prices. Why therefore have the airlines not reflected that in ticket prices?”
However, Loganair offered no prospect of fare cuts because it said fuel was bought up to two years ahead - when the price was higher.
A spokesman 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 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.”
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