Commenting on the news that the preferred bidder for Prestwick Airport has withdrawn from the process, South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour transport spokesperson Colin Smyth said: “This news will be deeply worrying for the 300 workers directly employed by Prestwick Airport and the thousands more across Ayrshire whose jobs rely on the airport.

“Its needs to act as a wakeup call to the Scottish Government to take action to secure these jobs by providing sector specific support for aviation and also by urgently reviewing the quarantine rules which are impacting on air travel, replacing them with a vigorous testing regime.

“When the sale of Prestwick was first announced, I argued that should only not go ahead if the buyer agrees to pay back the tens of millions of pounds loaned to the airport from the public purse. We must not allow the decision of the preferred bidder not to go ahead with the purchase of the airport at this time to then lead to the SNP Government agreeing to a cut-price sale for the sake of them washing their hands of the airport.

“If the sale of the airport can’t be secured at a fair price, the Scottish Government should set out a clear plan for keeping the airport open and continuing to run it under public ownership.”

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