A plane-load of passengers heading for Glasgow remained earthbound in Stornoway yesterday evening (Tuesday April 23rd) after a saga of delays ended with the airport closing before they could take off.

The 18 passengers were left hanging around for the arrival of their transport, after a series of delays caused by equipment failures and a full-scale emergency at Glasgow airport meant that their inbound flight left Glasgow two hours late.

The incoming flight subsequently ran into the work-to-rule currently being operated by members of the public service union Prospect, as part of its current dispute with Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL). This meant that the airport could not remain open for the flight to return to Glasgow, effectively grounding the service.

The plane stayed on the tarmac for the night, with some passengers offered accommodation in Stornoway by Loganair and an additional flight leaving Stornoway airport at 9.30am today (Wednesday) so that they could complete their journey.

A spokesman for Stornoway airport said: “This was an unfortunate series of circumstances which led to cancellation of the last departure and subsequent impact on passengers.”

Talks between Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) and Prospect were continuing today (Wednesday April 24th). The work-to-rule is set to continue until the end of August unless agreement is reached, but a day of action planned for April 26th has been suspended by the union pending further discussions.