Recent research has highlighted the need for Inverness Airport to link with Heathrow, something it hasn’t offered in 15 years. It is thought that tens of thousands of passengers are being lost as a result.
The research, commissioned by the Inverness Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), saw 290 businesses in the Inverness area questioned.
Of those surveyed, more than 16 per cent said they travelled out of the area, to fly from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Preferring to fly into London’s Heathrow, they said a link with Gatwick was needed but a further connection to the capital’s biggest airport would be more beneficial. This prompted the SCDI to suggest that around 50,000 fewer passengers were travelling through the airport.
Attracting visitors to Inverness firms could also be a problem, particularly with challenging economic conditions continuing. As with many other firms in Scotland, the region’s companies have struggled over recent years.
Many are now clearly back in track though, with a large number aided by the introduction of invoice factoring and invoice discounting facilities.
Stressing how important air links are, the chief executive of the ICC, Stewart Nicol, said:
“The chamber has long understood the challenges that businesses here face in reaching customers both around the UK and the world, and that is why it is so vital that we have air services that meet the economic needs of the region.”
A new deal with Easyjet will see more flights, though, with an early morning departure and evening arrival expected to provide a major boon to industry.