Highland Airways, an important mainland-to-island carrier, has become the latest company to fall to the recent winter. The airline went into administration on the 24th March, upsetting islanders in Scotland, and throwing the daily Cardiff-Anglesey route into jeopardy. The firm has now ceased trading.
World famous auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, was a hot tip for the administration process as recently as Wednesday night, and the task was eventually handed to the firm’s resident experts, J.B. Cartwright and G.D. Frost, the same people who handled the collapse of Flyglobespan.
Highland Airways, which is based in Inverness, Scotland, offered routes to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, Sumburgh Airport on the Shetland Islands, and the little-known town of Benbecula on the island of the same name. The carrier’s route to the island of Anglesey on the Welsh coast was perhaps one of the airline’s biggest money-spinners, however, and a boon to the local economy.
The bleak and blustery nature of its few destinations meant that Highland Airways spent much of the winter besieged by dangerous weather conditions, such as snow and fog. Crippling debts eventually put the airline’s plans on ice, and the firm’s boardroom voted in favour of administration.
PricewaterhouseCoopers wants to offload some services to other airlines, in a bid to keep some routes active – ‘Highland Airways provided a valuable service. We will be working to ensure an orderly handover of services to new operators.’ The firm regretted that the airline’s 100 employees would probably be handed over to the Job Centre, instead.
Highland Airways did not have an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence, otherwise known as ATOL protection, so passengers who hold unused tickets are unlikely to receive a refund. If you used a credit card to book your ticket, however, you may be able to claim back the cost from your bank.