The boss of Edinburgh airport has hit out at the Scottish government’s justice secretary over a comment the politician made comparing saving lives with the economy during a TV interview.
Justice sectary Humza Yousaf, a member of the SNP, said during an interview on STV: “We can bring the economy back to life, we just can’t bring people back to life.”
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh airport, said he was “dismayed” by Yousaf’s comment in a letter to the minister.
“No-one in aviation has advocated trading lives for the economy, and it is unhelpful to be using anyone’s loss to make a political point that side-steps or ignores our open request for engagement in seeking better policies,” said Dewar in his open letter.
“But this isn’t a binary choice as you have seemed to suggest. It is not a choice between public health or the economy. It is not a choice because we need to do both if Scotland is to rebound and recover.”
Dewar urged the Scottish government to “support businesses in sustaining and creating jobs”.
He warned there would be “some incredibly dark days ahead” if the administration continued with its current quarantine policy with “tens of thousands of jobs at risk in aviation the next few months alone”.
“A quarantine policy that is a travel ban in all but name makes this incredibly difficult, if not impossible,” added Dewar. “It is ineffective and unworkable as your own figures show and it is having a damning impact on a range of industries.
“I only have to look at my own business to see the real impact it is having. Saying goodbye to 250 colleagues through no fault of their own was one of the toughest experiences in my career. I don’t want others to have to do the same.”
The Scottish government removed its travel corridor from Greece on Thursday (3 September) meaning tourists returning to Scotland will have to self-isolate for 14 days.