Flybe will assess reconditioned runway before taking jet decision

FLYBE will assess conditions after the runway redevelopment is finished before making a decision on whether it will bring its Embraer 175 jet aircraft to Guernsey.

A Flybe Embraer E175. The airline will assess the rebuilt runway before deciding if it will operate here.
Flybe operates the Embraer E175 on its Gatwick route.

FLYBE will assess conditions after the runway redevelopment is finished before making a decision on whether it will bring its Embraer 175 jet aircraft to Guernsey.

A spokesman said the performance and suitability of the aircraft to the new runway would have to be looked at.

‘A decision can only be made once the conditions assessment has been completed,’ he said.

Flybe has ordered 140 of the jets in a $5bn deal.

After securing a loan in 2011, it announced it would roll the fleet out with the first 35 phased in over the next four years.

Comments for: "Flybe will assess reconditioned runway before taking jet decision"


If the runway is unsuitable for this type of jet then what is the point?? lets hope it is up to scratch, it's costing enough money

Terry Langlois

Herm looks amazingly mountainous in that photo


Jet aircraft - pollution and noise - will eventually destroy Guernsey as a peacefully pleasant place to live. Why is no one attempting to halt the expansion ?


It will Expat80 when the tiny humanoids die out like the dinosaurs did


Why?, because the economy needs it....simples


Says who...?

'Needs' and 'wants', often confused.


Err, didn't we used to have jet aircraft operating here until recently?

Did they destroy Guernsey as a peacefully pleasant place to live?

Or did life go on.


Correct Robert, and the new jets will be quieter as well.


Any flight owners got in & out before upgrade (horrible blot on landscape)

So come up Flybe, your pilots know where we are.

Do you?


Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought one of the main reasons the runway was being rebuilt was to allow Flybe to operate the Embraer here?


Sorry, you are wrong, the reason the runway is being rebuilt is because it is falling apart!

It has lasted about 15 years longer than its design life so a rebuild is well overdue.

Ali M

Does this mean that Easyjet etc may now start looking at coming in as they also have these jets as at present our runway is unsuitable for most airlines...This could indeed be good news.


I think you'll find that guernsey is unsuitable as a holiday destination for most airlines.

I don't think the quality of our runway had anything to do with Flybe stopping using the Jet to Guernsey.

It's more a case of limited competition. Why bother offering fast, comfortable flights when you can use much cheaper aircraft and still get the same number of passengers

Plane Spotter

Easyjet (& Ryanair) use Being 737s. They are much bigger than Flybe's Embraers. I doubt very much they'd be able to land/take off with a full payload. Only option would be to lengthen the runway...........


I think you'll find that EasyJet's fleet is pretty much all Airbus A319's and the runway is being extended!

Charlie Monkey

737's have operated here frequently.


Plane Spotter,

We get charter 737s occasionally now ( Titan Airways usually on behalf of Aurigny when they have problems), in fact we had one last week!

Once the final (grooved surface) layer of the runway is laid I'm pretty sure the specification is such that we will be capable of handling them regardless of payload.

Plane Spotter

They don't land/take off with a full payload though, which was kind of my point.

And, Gilthead, the runway isn't being extended, only improved. And yes, Easyjet does have mostly A319s, but it also has A320s, B757s and B737s. It doesn't have any Joeys though so don't get your hopes up of having an Easyjet service any time soon.


I rather think it has more to do with the fact that Flybe has lost market share on the Gatwick route and therefore can't justify putting the Embraer 175 on the route. I can't believe that the runway will not be up to standard once Lagan have finished so Flybe's comments don't make sense. This was the airline that originally intended to operate the larger Embraer 195 into Guernsey. I hardly expect we will see Easyjet on the Gatwick route when then is already two operators on the route. In any case Easyjet are not in the habit of operating high frequency UK domestic routes. Just check out their once a day Gatwick to the Isle of Man operation and this is a route where the only competition is the 4 times daily service operated by Flybe. In Guernsey there are up to 11 flights a day in summer to Gatwick (5 by Flybe and 6 by Aurigny). I think we are already well served on this route.


Might take some business off Aurigny if it does start operating.


I suspect we may struggle with Embraer 175, the runway hasn't been lengthened, so it is officially still only 1,463 metres long. The take off run at maximum takeoff weight is 1,644 metres for the E-170 and 2,244 metres for the E-175. Either they need to fly the plane empty or it will just not work!

The only option was and still is to lengthen the runway, but when you read the opposition on this site to even building a couple of houses anywhere, it is just not going to happen.

Even the Boeing 737 next generation (mentioned above) are close to the mark, normally a 1,600 metre runway for comfort.

Turboprob it will have to be for the foreseeable future.


That is take-off distance at MTOW. You'll find that they won't be flying with 100% fuel to Gatwick so will be able to fill the plane with pax and baggage pretty easily.


Perhaps we ought to clarify something here.

The previous runway was perfectly able to accommodate Embraer E175s, and Flybe had promised that Guernsey would be the first base to get the new jets - simply to through a spanner into the works of the Blurigny deal.

They reneged on that promise. The new runway is even better equipped to handle the 175s, and yet they are still using it as a bargaining chip - those times are gone and they need to know it.

If Flybe wishes to gain a competitive advantage over the States-owned airline, it must deploy the Embraer onto the LGW-GCI route. As this is a matter of choice and nothing more, if it does not then it does not at its own peril - not due to the faults of any other person, government or authority.


Easy jet, Ryanair and the like will never come here because they need to fill their 150 to 180 seat aircraft to make money...something they will never be able to do on an island with such a small population base as ours....

As for operating a full 175. It should not be a problem on a 1463M runway even with a full load of passengers as the aircraft will not need to take a full load of fuel to get to Gatwick or Southampton...

CI Flyer

Like many have already said, both Easyjet and Ryanair operate a model where they make profit on a high load factor, ie, filling the aircraft. Those wishing the competition of Easyjet may regret it in the long term. Look at the Isle of Man, Easyjet operate a once daily service, which no doubt is normally considerably less than Flybe, because one, they can afford to undercut and also because they need to a high load factor to make money. This is killing the load factor on the Flybe IOM-LGW service, inevitably if Flybe pull off this route, what will the Isle of Man be left with? A once daily service to Gatwick with no interline connections or the BA CityFlyer London City route, great for business in the centre of London, but limited connections. This is what could happen in Guernsey should the big low cost carriers enter the market. There simply isn't the demand, regardless of how low the fare is, to operate a 4-5 times daily service to Gatwick on a 156 seater Airbus from Guernsey, unless they took out both Aurigny and Flybe.

When it comes to Flybe and the Embraer in Guernsey, they will put one in if it makes commercial sense, if there are other Flybe routes to which the Embraer is better suited/ more profitable it will be on those and not GCI-LGW as is currently the case. Afterall, Gatwick is becoming more and more expensive to operate into for "regional" sized aircraft.


Can we put this recurring fantasy about Ryanair to bed once and for all?

Ryanair are standardised on Boeing 737 800-series, using a lean burn engine. They've done this because it's a lot cheaper to have one plane type in terms of maintenance. These need 2000 metres of runway for safe operation, which is way beyond what Guernsey has available. The Airbus 319/320 ( easyjet option) can land on the length we have, but can only take off again with a reduced payload ( which means flying a two thirds full plane only, thereby losing money).

Add to this the fact that the low cost operators base their routing decisions on what kind of catchment area they have for passengers at BOTH ENDS of a route. Arguably, there are plenty of potential Guernsey visitors on the London area , but Guernsey, with a 60,000 population is going to struggle to fill 180 seats goping the other way especially in lower season months. With planes costing what they do, it's not just about whether the airlines could break even on the route, it's about whether the same plane could make them more money if it was flying East Midlands - Perpignan, or Leeds - Strabourg or whatever instead.

That said, if those in power had decided to lengthen the runway whilst doing this work, it could have increased the potential options. If one day Flybe decide for commercial or political reasons that they don't want to fly to Guernsey any more ( and they did this to Norwich), and Derek decides to stop playing at airlines, or the cost of Aurigny becomes unacceptably high to the States, a longer runway would at least have widened the potential number of operators to the island. In any of the above scenarios, Guernsey might have ended up being grateful for, say, four 737 or airbus flights a day into Gatwick rather than multiple turbo-prop flights, but with the runway stuck at its present length, that's not an option.


Aurigny already is unacceptably expensive to the states!

Think what HSSD could do with the 1.35Million lost by aurigny this last year.

Worst of all aurigny are carrying more passengers than ever and yet they still lose has to stop!


The railways in the UK receive a £4.6 Billion subsidy. If scaled down to the Bailiwick's population would mean an equivalent subsidy for Aurigny of £4.6 million. It would be nice if Aurigny turned a profit but given the route network they offer us it's still not a bad deal for the tax payer.

Of course if we all flew with them, where possible, instead of the competition that elusive break even point may move a bit closer

Guern abroad

Agree with Doug's comment.

I support Aurigny and they have a very good frequent flyer reward scheme.

Look what happened to Guernsey Telecom when the States sold it and that was a essential Island service and Aurigny is no different, so I am very supportive of continuing to own it and am happy for the small States subsidy it requires to maintain it.

Being an Island it is important that essential services remain States owned. Let's hope there are not future cockups like when Telecoms was sold off.


Yes but there is no need to pay to keep aurigny afloat especially the rest of the network other than Gatwick it costs a fortune. Flybe and blue islands could op the routes perfectly well without any taxpayers money.


@Taxpayer - The subsidy works out at £20 a head based on £1.3m divided by 65,000.

Ali M

Easyjet normally services to Europe out of its UK hubs, therefore, I could see it working if they were to offer their services to say Malaga, etc esp at their cheap prices esp in teh summer. They would fill the seats. They could even do a stop over up to manchester as I note they fly over the channel islands anyway...


Yes.Ali.but.the.full.planes.couldn''s.not.long.enough Duh!

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BA Cityflyer operate both the E170 and E190 from London City Airport to destinations that are much further than Guernsey to Gatwick.

Also the take off distance available at City is about 250 metres LESS than Guernsey.