‘Air links remain major point of concern for finance firms’

GUERNSEY’S air links, and particularly the inter-island service, remain a matter of concern for Guernsey finance businesses.

patrickfirth

In his retiring speech at the AGM of the Guernsey International Business Association, the umbrella body for the various sector groups, Patrick Firth said the issue had been a number one priority 12 months ago and it remained so.

He called for bold action to be taken following the publication of the strategic review of Aurigny, now expected out at the end of May.

‘I believe that in order to improve the situation, bold choices need to be made, and that will involve investment by the government in the States-owned airline and the infrastructure at the airport,’ Mr Firth said.

He said it was ‘unfortunate’ that the island appeared to have experienced more fog disruption in recent months than in previous years.

‘But I cannot help but think that an improved instrument landing system may have helped. No doubt poor choices have been made in the past, but it is now time for bold decisions, including an investigation into extending the runway.’

Mr Firth noted what he described as a ‘deterioration’ of inter-island air links, which he said had added to difficulty for both islands in finance and tourism and for islanders generally.

‘There has been much reference to Jersey’s superior links and the danger posed to our industry is all too clear to see.’

Comments for: "‘Air links remain major point of concern for finance firms’"

Rainer

Hey Patrick, wanna hear my opinion on "exotic derivatives", "cum-ex" or "foreign exchange swaps"? NO? Right so, because I have no idea of these things.

And YOU Mr Firth have no idea of aviation, landing-systems or the impact of runway length. So may I suggest you just shut up!!

You want cheaper, more reliable, more frequent inter-island connection and a review/bold action regarding Aurigny. I think you're right.

BUT for GOD'S SAKE stop making up your own conclusions on how this should be achieved (landing system, runway extension). Do your business, tell the decision makers what you need to do your business and let people that actually have a clue about these things decide how to achieve these goals.

Wings

And your claim to better expertise??

markB

Well rather than the poor old tax payer paying for all of the Airport investment, how about the finance industry etc. pay something towards it??

Prospero

Oh Patrick !

What nonsense

If the business community was so convinced this was a sure fire winner then why are they not simply funding it themselves and then they could drawn down the dividends that would flow from its success.

Because is folly and no business case will support it.

It is a desperate throw of the dice using the tax payers money.

My daughter was made redundant this week - almost certainly as Brexit is already causing the retreat of finance related business from this island.

To fund this folly without a clear understanding of the ripples caused by Brexit is sheer madness.

But - it is only other people's money so why worry.

Rob Woodhard

The business community will not be funding this because there is a coordination problem over funding a public project that benefits all businesses - e.g. Everyone benefits from better fog technology, so all businesses have an incentive to contribute nothing and free ride on investment made by other businesses. This is one reason why we have a government - to step in and make necessary spending decisions when the private sector won't spend. It's exactly the same principle with schools, hospitals, sewerage, lampposts

markB

I was under the impression the finance industry got the "Benefit " of a payout from the public purse to promote itself, £900,000 I maybe wrong.

Common sense

More selected drip feeding of these stories trying to minimise resistance to a runway extension. It seams that the deputies have already decided the matter behind closed doors and are trying to make the public believe it is imperative to extend the runway.

This is just the same as when over a week stories related to child obisity were feed into the media just before the announcement of the states announcing they were bidding for the island games.

The realities of zero-10 are that once it was introduced large scale projects were not financially affordable. Money was spent on a report several years ago concluding that the runway was not financially benificial to the island, nothing has changed and during this uncertain economic time all big projects should be put on hold until the effect of brexit has been felt whether positive or negative.

Unfortunately the deputies want to offload GSPs loan without any real thought.

Wings

The impact of our deteriorating air links is being felt across the business community, not just finance, as business that should be coming our way goes to our sister island.

This will soon filter through to jobs and tax receipts and will then affect every taxpayer on the Island.

Taking an Ostrich approach and sticking our heads in the sand will not make it go away and the States, who are responsible for our infrastructure, need to grasp the nettle.

Much as we may dislike the GSP bond, it is there now and we are paying for it whether we use it or not.

No-one can prove that extending the runway will bring new airlines in but we can be sure that none will come if we don't.

Common sense

Wings

The loan is currently invested so we have part of the original amount and it is paying part of the interest owed on it, once it is used the taxpayer is paying back all the money and all of the interest (increasing the cost of living through taxation) so it should only be used as per the original criteria agreed when it was voted for and not on a gamble e.g. a runway extension.

What is gradually suffocating the finance industry and other business is the continual rise in the cost of living on Guernsey, milk £1.27' fuel £1.18 and other stealth taxes forcing companies to increase their staff remumeration directly or indirectly when employees create their own pay rise by moving organisation.

I was not suggesting taking the ostrich approach but a realistic one as we have no influence on Brexit negotiations and are way down the food chain (look at how the government is ignoring Scotland). We need to plan for various scenarios and act when the direction become clear.

Wings

Fair comment.

Doing nothing is not an option though, unless we want to see Island business enter a downward spiral.