Grounded by bureaucracy: Blue Islands MD criticises Guernsey's licence regime

GUERNSEY’S licensing regime is the biggest obstacle for airlines looking to establish new routes, Blue Islands has said.

Rob Veron

GUERNSEY’S licensing regime is the biggest obstacle for airlines looking to establish new routes, Blue Islands has said.

Managing director Rob Veron, pictured, said the system, which he claimed could take up to six months to reach an outcome, was costly, time consuming and meant airlines had no commercial secrecy.

‘It’s been said Guernsey would like to see a direct flight from Guernsey to London City Airport,’ he said.

‘The danger is we’d spend £6m. on securing aircraft slots in London on the chance that in six months’ time we will get a licence. If the time came and we didn’t have the licence, London would say “tough, it’s not our fault if you’re not using the slots”.’

He added Guernsey was an exception in its lack of ‘open skies’.

  • The Commerce and Employment Department was not immediately available to comment.

Comments for: "Grounded by bureaucracy: Blue Islands MD criticises Guernsey's licence regime"

damo

Nothing such as secrecy... like speaking to the Guernsey Press then Rob

Matt

That's all fine and Rob has a point. But we have to bear in mind Guernsey is a small island with c 60K residents and a few hundred K visitors (likely to be financial services visitors from LCY) per annum.

Allowing too much capacity on the London routes will make it unprofitable for aurigny and Flybe. This is to the detriment of all when commercial decisions need to be made and one of them reduces capacity/pulls out (unlikely to be aurigny I know). The licensing protects this scenario

Surely the answer is fast track licensing/rejection and issuing of in principle licenses? I wish Blue Islands luck it would be a popular route, I am sure. But licensing is there for a reason.

Beaky

I would definitely use a route to London City Airport for leisure. I am sure this would suit the business community also.

Andy

Same company who opposed open skies when fybe was trying to have it's Guernsey-Jersey restrictions lifted. They argued there was only room for two operators.

re london city- i'm more than sure Mr Veron knows that the states would not refuse an application to a new destination. Dressing up the situation to suit himself!

Bob

Let him have open skies on ALL routes - let the market decide.

slep

Six million quid for slots in London?! What an extortion, if that`s true! How could an airline afford that?

More Local Than You

Rob Veron needs to concentrate on running a safe and profitable airline opposed to courting the media.

Frequentflyer

Always one for useful comments. Starting to think your surname is probably Hart?

More Local Than You

Nope. Am not the MD of Aurigny - he is far too busy running a good and safe airline that continues to serve the islands well.

Blue Islands are simply awful and are akin to a parasite when it comes to the local airline industry.

Frequentflyer

It's a shame that people hold such a view.

My personal opinion is that all three airlines serving the island run a fair service. Travelled on Aurigny a few weeks ago and was impressed by the free paper and complimentary drink.

What I find difficult to understand is the overly negative comments that come about, about an airline that is at least trying to run something of a different respectable product and at least is adding new routes to serve the channel islands albeit via Jersey in some cases. Issues occur to all airlines including Flybe, Blue Islands and Aurigny.

Grumpy

Rob Veron needs to concentrate on running the routes that he already has on time before he looks to expand.

Benedict

Dear Grumpy,

I have always received A! service from Blue Islands. And no, I have no connection with the company.

More Local Than You

@Frequent Flyer

I have given up flying with Blue Islands - fair enough I shouldn't be so negative and cynical about them - but their constant delays have left me stuck at the airport/late/missing important meetings/events far too many times to mention. I also don't like their aircraft, particularly the ATR. That's why I stopped flying with them. Good luck to them, but I remain sceptical...

Guern

Very true before given new routes they should operate the timetable they now have, and perhaps those who issue the licence should look at the past few months flying and see how many flights has been cancelled or run late.

The main one is the 9.05 from Jersey that is never on time and the evening flight at 6.05 can be as late as 8.30 on a regular basis.

I have heard that some taxi drivers will not meet Blue Island flights as it is a gamble as to when they will arrive and the information board at the airport is no help.

Guerner

@ FrequentFlyer

I'm not sure i'd agree with your statement regarding all three airlines.

Aurigny- seem to go "technical" more times than not and flights often delayed. Also, the 8.30am flight from Guernsey to Gatwick seems to be cancelled whenever the passenger numbers falls below a certain number. Generally more expensive than Flybe if hand luggage only.

Flybe- If flying with bags it's often cheaper to buy the plane rather than just book a ticket.

Blue Islands- A fleet older than a Model T Ford, prices higher than Flybe (compare their proposed charges to Amsterdam and Paris)and a high chance of being stranded abroad and left to fend for own devices. You do get free shortbread biscuits in their "lounge" though...

Watcher

Blue Islands have no presence in Switzerland and we have seen a spotty yoof announce "The flight is cancelled" and promptly do a disappearing act. We were left completely in the lurch and there were no spaces available the next day so we had to beg assistance from BA to get from Geneva back to UK. An overnight and then Aurigny back to Guernsey lost us a day and cost us a bomb. If Blue Islands are going to fly to the continent with aircraft that are of an age where reliability becomes an issue they must address their on-ground presence, leaving people in the lurch should not be an option.

ps they also run out of shortbread !

Alvin

Any airline that wishes to open up new routes should indeed be encouraged with license procedures facilitated. In the past Blue Islands tended to try and copy other carriers and compete on existing routes... Bristol, Southampton etc. So the new routes to Amsterdam and Paris are a welcome boost to the island even if they require a transit at Jersey. I have also always pushed for a London City direct route as I believe there would be sufficient demand for that route - better that than this daft doubling up of flights on the Gatwick run.... why do Aurigny and Flybe have to fly at the same time to and from Gatwick ??

Mark

Alvin,

Are you suggesting Aurigny / FlyBE could possibly work together and operate a BA/AA style arrangement?

For those who wonder what I am talking about, British Airways and American Airlines now operate a 'shuttle' type timetable on London Heathrow to New York. Each sells tickets on not only theirs, but also the other airlines flights. This means convenient regular trans-atlantic flights, sometimes only 1 or 2 hours apart.

I think this arrangement could suit Aurigny / Blue Islands, between Guernsey and Jersey.