There have been two pieces of bad publicity for Aberdeen in the last week: first a drunken stewardess who delayed a flight and now news that thirty five illegal immigrants have been let in through the airport.
A 24 year old bmi cabin crew attendant held up a flight from Aberdeen to Faro last week for six hours, after colleagues became concerned that she may have had too much to drink prior to coming to work. The flight, which had been due to take off at 9am, was delayed until 3.30pm whilst the woman was breathalised and arrested and a replacement steward was arranged. An airport spokesman expressed regret that the 140 passengers had been subjected to such a delay, whilst a bmi spokesman said that the airline were co-operating fully with the enquiry being conducted by Grampian police.
The day before, in an apparently deliberate act, Aberdeen airport was flooded with immigrants from Bolivia travelling via Amsterdam. Forty two arrived on the same flight, five of whom were turned away immediately. The remaining thirty seven were told by officials to return the following day to have their papers processed. There was insufficient room to detain them as forty people were already being held from another flight. Needless to say only two of the thirty seven re-appeared the next day and Tory MSP, Alex Johnstone, has called for an enquiry to ensure that Aberdeen is not seen as a “soft touch”. He called the actions of the immigration officials naive, although the UK Border Agency has sought to down play the incident, assuring the public that names had been checked against a “watch-list”.