Majorcan home and leading Scottish hotelier, Brian Squires, yesterday contacted the Bulletin to voice his support for the campaign for winter flights from Scotland.Brian Squires and his family own and run the Ardlui Hotel, Lodges, Marina and Holiday Home Park which is nestled on the shores of Scotland’s magnificent Loch Lomond.
But, they also own a finca in Calvia and, between family and friends, there has always someone staying at the property since they arrived here by yacht in 1986.
In fact, Brian Squires is here now and yesterday he gave his full backing to the campaign for direct winter flights from Scotland.
“This year so far, we have travelled to Majorca from Scotland in November, January and presently February to March.
52 return flights
“Between us that is a total of 52 return flights but we have to catch connecting flights through Gatwick on the way out and Bristol on the way back,” he explained yesterday.
“For example, I flew down via Gatwick, and luckily had booked well in advance and the 12 hour journey cost me around 250 pounds, however, and I know it’s now half term, but we tried to book a last minute seat for one of the family and the same ticket with easyJet cost over 600 pounds. I don’t know if the airlines are doing it on purpose to make sure the flights are always full and at top dollar for the late bookers but the whole inconvenience of the situation is simply bad for business, both in Majorca and in Scotland.
“While we love coming down to Majorca I’m sure there are plenty of people on the island who would not mind a holiday or long weekend in Scotland, perhaps even at our hotel, I don’t care.
“But, as a businessman, time is money and for me, travelling back and forth, I lose a day coming out and a day going home just travelling and hoping that there are no delays or my luggage does not get lost because, miss your connecting flight, especially coming out via Gatwick and with the flights so full, you could be faced with two to three nights in an airport hotel until the next available seat,” Squires added.
Easy to get to
“One of the main reasons we decided to buy the property in Majorca was because, in the event of an emergency, we could get back to Scotland so easily and quickly, now during the winter, if there is a crisis back home, it’s going to be a costly and long winded process of getting back,” he added. “I’ve spoken to plenty of Scots who have either holiday homes, businesses or yachts here on the island and without exception, we have all met on connecting flights and we are all in agreement that we need the return of direct flights.
“Most Scots live in or around the main cities so it really wouldn’t matter if the flights were out of Glasgow, Edinburgh or Prestwick, nothing is very far away.
“If we want a direct flight, the nearest airport is Liverpool at that, it’s a five-and-a-half hour drive, then you have to pay for airport parking etc.
“There’s just no easy way round the fact there are no flights. And, I guess we’re lucky this year because Easter is early and therefore I think easyJet resumes flights from Glasgow on 17 March and Ryanair from Prestwick on 29 March.
“But I bet you that if Easter was later, the direct flights would not be starting so early,” he added.
“Iam convinced that a direct weekly or even twice weekly flight from Scotland to Palma would be viable and full and, if it could be done for between 260 and 300 pounds return, we’d be more than happy with that,” Squires said, urging the Bulletin to continue with its campaign.
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