11 NOVEMBER 2019

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Channel Islands air wars

Concern is growing on Guernsey over the future of air services to and from the island after its state-owned airline, Aurigny, was reported last week to be facing record losses of nearly £10m next year.

According to ITV News, the island government, the States of Guernsey, has come under fire from the heads of two watchdog bodies, the Trading and Supervisory Board (STSB) and the Scrutiny Management Committee (SMC), for the rising losses.

STSB president Peter Ferbrache and SMC head Chris Green are reported as saying the aims given to the airline by the States are conflicting and the carrier cannot break even.

The comments come after the two bodies commissioned an independent review. This concluded Aurigny was generally well managed, a verdict greeted with scepticism by some observers, but added there were areas in need of improvement.

The report said only Aurigny’s Gatwick route was profitable; other services were “unlikely to be viable” in the event of economic downturn and partnerships might be needed between smaller airlines, like Blue Islands, due to limited market size.

Paul Simmons, a non-executive director at Blue Islands, said: “The report appears to have been written under the influence of rose-tinted eyewear. My reading of it is that someone needs to grab the strategy nettle, and quickly.”

www.gov.gg

www.aurigny.com

www.blueislands.com

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum


Tim Procter, Tunbridge Wells

Rather unfair to apply airline business models to what is essentially a public transport system to sustain the Island's contact with the mainland. Having said that though, I'd wager a few residents and Companies registered on Guernsey might have a couple of bob to keep it all running.


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