12 AUGUST 2013
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The States, the Parliament of Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands, has voted to safeguard the air link to Gatwick. Currently flown by Flybe and the islands own carrier Aurigny, seat capacity would have been limited from April next year with the withdrawal of the Exeter-based airline's services.
Aurigny plans to upgrade its present ATR 72 turboprop operation to a larger E175 jet, possibly wet leased from Flybe. The only competition to London will be Blue Islands to London City. That airline says that it is not interested in Gatwick, “too expensive” according to Managing Director Ron Veron.
In the past week the Treasury and Resources Department asked the States for permission to guarantee a loan for the purchase of new planes. This was conditionally passed.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, Minister for the Treasury and Resources Department said: "Both the Department and the airline recognise the strategic importance of the Gatwick route to the Island. Given the importance of the service to so many sectors of our community and economy, it is essential that there is confidence a good service capable of meeting current demand will be maintained and that passengers can see we are absolutely committed to ensuring this is the case". www.aurigny.com
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