Aviation sector calls on Scottish government to tackle high testing costs

The industry believes that expensive Covid-19 tests will make travelling less accessible, prohibiting a successful recovery

Four major parties within the aviation industry – Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association (AOA), AGS and Edinburgh Airport – have called upon the Scottish government to fix the issue of expensive Covid-19 testing for those travelling back to Scotland from abroad.

Comparatively, customers returning to England are required to pay a much lower rate, according to the parties. 

Wiki Commons/M4kumba82
Photo Wiki Commons/M4kumba82

On May 17, Scotland adopted the traffic light method, incorporating a list of red, amber and green coded countries – very much like the English government’s version.

In a collective statement, four chief executives – Tim Alderlade (Airlines UK), Derek Proven (AGS), Gordon Dewar (Edinburgh Airport) and Karen Dee (AOA) – stressed how the new regulations are “not fair” on the Scottish public.

They said: “This lack of parity with England will price many people out of travelling and will be a very real barrier to airports and airlines as we try to safely re-establish our connectivity. It will also push passengers to airports in England to avoid the cost of the Scottish Government’s testing package meaning they would not receive any form of data. We urgently need the Government to review its guidelines and introduce an equitable testing system that doesn’t penalise Scottish passengers.”

Those needing to take a Covid-19 test when returning back to Scotland are unable to do so from private suppliers, unlike England.

Therefore, each customer must purchase a kit which costs £170 if travelling from an amber coded country and £88 if coming back from a green listed destination. In contrast, some privately owned companies are offering these amenities from as little as £20.