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Air Scotland Glasgow airport passengers see further delays

19.10.05

Air Scotland's passengers continue to suffered long delays as the troubled budget carrier struggles to clear a backlog of flights. At one point yesterday passengers took off from Glasgow Airport for Alicante after a 12-hour delay.

Air Scotland got into difficulties last week and a plane was grounded more than once in a row over unpaid fuel bills. Then a charter aircraft brought in yesterday to help clear the backlog returned to Poland after the pilot refused to take off until the £23,000 bill was paid.

A spokesman for the charter company, Fischer Air Polska, told BBC Scotland: 'We have thrown away a lot of money because we paid for our fuel, for air control, for the landing fee, etc. It was a big cost for us. It was our first deal with Air Scotland and the last with this airline.'

Air Scotland insisted it had paid to hire the plane and said it is considering legal action against Fischer to reclaim costs and also for damage caused to its reputation. An Air Scotland spokesman said it had chartered another plane and would soon be able to clear the backlog.

The Glasgow Airport - Alicante flight had been due to leave Glasgow at 08:10 yesterday, but finally departed at 20:20. Then more than 170 passengers at Edinburgh Airport awaiting a flight to Alicante were bussed to Glasgow on Tuesday evening to catch their flight, 7 hours behind schedule.

The cash crisis at the airline started on Thursday when the Iraqi-born founder of Air Scotland, Dhia Al-Ani, a travel agent in Bearsden, near Glasgow, sold his stake. Ownership of the carrier, which is operated by Greece Airways, was transferred to the H Top Hotels Group in Spain.

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