The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has called out the Scottish Government over the cost of COVID testing for passengers using Scottish airports.
The pricing difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK is something the AOA calls a “major discrepancy” and can see passengers using Scottish airports paying more than twice as much as those across the border in England.
Passengers flying back into the UK from countries on the Green and Amber list and required to take a PCR Covid test on arrival but those flying into airports in England have the option of purchasing this from several places including private suppliers costing as little as £20 per person in some cases.
Passengers flying into Scottish airports on the other hand must use the ones supplied by the approved supplier at a cost of £170 per person if you arrive from an amber country and £88 per person from green countries.
In a joint statement, Karen Dee, chief executive of the AOA, Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said:
“On 11 May we were told the Scottish Government would adopt a four nations approach to the removal of the travel ban which had brought our industry to a standstill. Within a matter of days, it transpired Scottish passengers would be heavily penalised by having to pay twice as much for COVID tests than people in England.
“It is not fair that people in Scotland are being forced to bear such high costs when there are private suppliers offering the same tests that meet strict UK Government requirements for a fraction of the cost.
“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. We have offered to work with the Government and its clinicians to help identify an affordable solution.”
The Scottish Government declined to comment.