A planned day of strike action taking place today must concentrate the minds of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) and trade unions.
The dispute over pay means a number of airports throughout the north closed today, with many flights cancelled.
Organisers of Orkney’s Folk Festival this weekend said they feared the loss of flights to the island would have an effect on those getting to the event.
Speaking ahead of the planned strike, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur said: “This strike action is going to be hugely disruptive to communities across the Highlands and islands. Here in Orkney, we already know about the impact it has had at the start of this year’s folk festival.
“I hope this will concentrate minds of those in HIAL and the trade unions who need to sit down in the coming days and resolve this long running and damaging dispute. People in Orkney rightly expect everything to be done to lift the threat that currently hangs over their lifeline air services.”
Earlier in the week, HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “We sincerely regret this escalation of the pay dispute by Prospect members and apologise for the inconvenience that this has caused our customers.
“We continue to work closely with our airlines to mitigate the effects of strike action and I wish to thank them and all our staff who have worked extremely hard to implement contingency measures.”