Runway extension to go back to the States

A FORMAL bid to extend the runway has been submitted and will be debated later this year, it has been confirmed.

Jan Kuttelwascher

A FORMAL bid to extend the runway has been submitted and will be debated later this year, it has been confirmed.

Economic Development Committee vice-president Jan Kuttelwascher said paperwork to include the project in the next capital prioritisation debate had been completed – a week after saying he was once again raising the issue.

Deputy Kuttelwascher, pictured, spent five hours filling in the form, which will begin the process. It will be presented as part of the States budget this October, he said, and with effort put behind it he thought it could be achieved within three years.

‘The next stage [after debating it as part of the capital prioritisation debate] will be making a compelling business case,’ he said.

‘The paperwork just submitted dealt with the strategic reasons we should pursue it.’

Comments for: "Runway extension to go back to the States"

Alvin

A runway extension is not needed. How many times do we have to say that !

To investigate, discuss and debate this once again is simply a waste of time and money by the States, as would be to undertake an environment impact assessment now.

At a cost of 30 million quid, the idea simply does not make any economical sense at all. There will be no boost for the local economy except for the construction industry – but the 30 million quid could be better spent on other projects which would be of much greater benefit to the island as a whole.

If the runway is extended to 1700 metres there is no guarantee at all that any new airlines will fly into Guernsey. None at all. As there is no guarantee that air-fares will fall.

New airlines will only come if there is the demand for air-travel and / or if there are financial incentives. They do not start flying to a new destination simply because that destination has extended its runway.

Dickturpin

It is said that "with age comes wisdom". For some people that may be true.

Unfortunately, for many men over a certain age, they actually revert to an almost "schoolboy" mentality whereby logic, experience and common sense reverts to an almost pre-adolescent way of thinking.

This is down to hormone changes in the body -something to be empathised with but never to be taken seriously!

I really think Mr Kuttelwasher should throw in the towel, accept the ravages of time and make plans for a gentle retirement.

markB

Five hours filling in the form? and he only had to write his name on it.

what a waste of time I wonder if his electorates knew he was going to be doing this , forget the runway get the boats moving on time and at value for money too.

that's the market people and families with cars.

Sofa King

Fantastic news

DB6

Yes, I agree - good news.

Vivica

Here we go again...

paulegsy

Alvin, I hear what you are saying on your post, but are your figures correct? are we only talking of 300 metres extension or is there more to come ? as at that rate it would be £100,000 per metre ! Surely if its going to be extended then it should be done to the maximum benefit. By the way do you or are you linked in any way to Aviation ? I believe Deputy Kuttlewascher did have these links.

I am a great believer in if you build it they will come, too many instances to mention here, but Knock airport in Ireland is one of them.

But, you have to have the infrastructure brought up to spec at the same time, lack of amenities and Hotel beds at affordable prices is a must, more tax breaks for companies willing to build them will create more jobs for local people and the ball starts to roll.

Negativity, is easy to preach, positivety WILL create and prosper in the right environment.

Beanjar

"...if you build it they will come" is a line from a corny baseball movie. It is a complete fiction. There are spiffy airports around the world which are completely abandoned let alone those which are under-utilised. No doubt they too were built by idiots with no regard for the realities of life. When will we learn to stop electing halfwits with demented agendas of ludicrous 'improvements' which Guernsey does not need and cannot afford?

Alvin

Paul... Not my figures - Deputy Kuttelwascher's figures.

Look up Cuidad Real Central Airport and then tell me the concept of build it and they will come will work every time.

I would love that Guernsey had a 3500 metre runway and had Emirates A380s coming in daily from Dubai, or SIA A380s from Singapore and so on - but it ain't going to happen. I am not negative - I am at heart very optimistic. But I am also realistic.

Extend the runway and see what happens. Nothing. Not even Easyjet. They have been scared away already by the monopolistic viewpoint of T & R during the last States. And who was on T & R last time ?

You won't get Ryanair or Norwegian - the two other biggest budget carriers as they operate the B737-800s which can not operate into a runway of 1700 metres. They do not operate into Jersey.

Jet2 ? They are supposed to be phasing out there 737-300s for the larger 737-800 so they won't be able to come.

Who else ? Flybe, BM, BA, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Alitalia, etc etc ?

They all have aircraft capable of landing at Guernsey now but only Flybe do.

A runway extension is a waste of money and will not bring any benefits.

Upgrading the ILS system would but is also very costly - though less than the extension of the runway.

Rokayne

The passenger numbers are under 900,000 per year. They pay £3 tax each that goes towards paying for the airport (the rested tax is paid to the security firm).

Even if we doubled that £3 it would take 10m passengers to cover the nominal cost without taking into account the time value of money (inflation and opportunity cost) it would take 11.5 years - if we maintained the level of commuters at the additional cost (remember lots of people are saying prices are already too high to encourage use).

And will the likes of Easyjet come here? Look at the market size and dream a happy dream- 'cos that's the closest you'll get to cheap air fares and Easyjet finding Guernsey viable.

Common sense

This is theoretically where democracy should work, the time between the bid being submitted and the vote there is ample time for the deputies to obtain the views of the parish they represent and many public consultations held by the states. The deputies then regardless of their own views vote the way of the of the majority of their electorate.

Every penny of the cost from the bid onward needs to be made public.

Roger Irrelevant

Here are the votes:

Round 1: pour 20 contre 20

Round 2: pour 20 contre 20

Round 3: pour 20 contre 20

Round 4: pour 20 contre 20

Round 5: pour 20 contre 19 spoilt papers 1

*** Lunch ***

Island Wide Voting

:-)))

But what if the Alderney reps get fogged off?

Viscount Lover

If the runway is extended there is no guarantee that we will attract new airlines with larger aircraft. Guernsey is a very limited market, we no longer have enough tourist beds to make any new service viable - the market for any new airline is bringing passengers in to the island, not taking us locals out. Everyone seems to forget that. We are years too late in extending the runway, it should have been done in the 80's at the very latest, if it had been done then we may not have lost airlines & routes as airlines re-equipped to more modern aircraft types ( 50 seater jet aircraft were popular then) that could not use the Guernsey runway.

paulegsy

Which 50 seat Jet airliners were available in the 80s Viscount Lover? As I remember in the 80's we had Fokker F28 with NLM, believe they took 75 /80 pax, Boeing 737-200s which took ski trips direct from GCI on many occassions (130 Pax), BAe 146 200 and 300 variant approx 80 pax and 90 pax if memory serves me right.

DC9s of British Midland came in on Jersey diversions and for one year Midland brought in B737s and a BAC1-11 !

I cannot think of any 50 seat jet aircraft around in the 1980s.

I do agree with you that the runway should have been extended way back, perhaps in the seventies, we missed the boat then and perhaps things would have been different now, but mistakes can be rectified if all parties work together.

Guernzee

The Jersey European whisper jet but that may have been the nineties

Alvin

Sorry Guernzee...

Keep on guessing. The BAe 146-200s could take a lot more passengers : over 100, and the smaller 146-100 at least 70.

No... Maybe Viscount Lover was thinking of the very first examples of the Tupolev Tu-104, or the longest versions of the Yak-40, ( even the Yak42 would have taken a lot more than 50 passengers ).

Planes of that era which served Guernsey such as the F-28 could take 70 passengers, similar to a Viscount, but bigger than the twin turbo-props such as the Herald and F-27.

Or maybe VL is thinking of the VFW 614 - that really would have been the only jet flying around in the 80s, albeit in very small numbers, with 50 seats.

More recently we have seen the Dornier 328 and even later the Embraer ERJ-135 and 145 series. These were small passenger jets coming out towards the end of the 90s.

Guernzee

Sopwith camel or spruce moose? To be honest the whisper was the only jet i remember but i was only 7 when the 80's ended!

paulegsy

The whisper jet you refer to is the BAe146, which both Air UK , JEA and Dan air operated into Guernsey

carolfromtheblock

Explain kettle washer how this would help the economy

Trudie

Did somebody teach you any manners growing up such as using someone's proper name instead of trying to turn it into an insult, weakens your argument somewhat.

GFC fan

Fantastic news!! Well done Mr kuttlewascher. A much-needeed and long overdue infrastructural project.

'build it and they will come'.

carolfromtheblock

You must live in same world cuttle fish lives in mate , they have been , didn't like it and won't be back

100% Donkey

How on God's Earth we are going to get a return on this investment is beyond me.

I'll come on here if it works and admit I got it wrong, but it never ceases to confound me that there are both deputies and people on here who genuinely believe we can spend our way out of this downturn.

We can't - like the rest of the planet can't. Our finance industry will come under increasing pressure from the likes of Jeremy Corbyn and the revenues quite simply aren't going to be there. So to spend £30 million on this when there are other more urgent requirements beggars belief....

Progress

Like what?

100% Donkey

Sea defences, Sea Transport links, Healthcare - shall I go on ???

Progress

Revenue generating projects are vital for the future to ensure we have money to pay for such things as health and sea defences. A runway extension fits into this category.

Alvin

Maybe two smaller, all weather, fast ferries carrying 200 - 250 passengers and serving Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Weymouth and St Malo ?

Progress

So another venture we have to recapitalise every 5 years to the tune of millions. Not viable i'm afraid.

Alvin

I am not an expert to determine the viability of the two small fast ferries but then I doubt you are either, but I am convinced that they would be more viable than the runway extension.

guern abroad

What is the point of having previous democratic votes that said no to a runway extension when you get a Deputy returning it to the table again and again. I hate bullies.

The defeatism of this and the last States was not looking at what could be done right now TODAY and getting on with it and we would have had a whole 2 years to look back and say whether we increased service or not. But no we have another States that only like new shinny things. We are so backward at looking forward and maximising what we already have. Talk about glass half full. While this is debated we have a failed ferry service and another season of very bad service.

Alvin

This is what amazes me. All these new investigations, reports and debates will divert time and money of the States away from more urgent, important matters.

Browndog

Hold your horses Deputy Kuttelwascher. We should establish why we are lengthening the runway. Is this for an additional margin of safety for operators, or is this to attract new carriers? I assume it’s the latter and the problem with that is Aurigny, who provide the first stumbling block for any runway extension. There's no way the States are going to give a licence to any airline who can compete with Aurigny on any large scale (Easyjet being one of them). Aurigny's Summer route network is now spread pretty thick across the UK which doesn't leave many regions untouched by Aurigny, other than perhaps Scotland.

I would love to see the runway extended but we need to become more attractive to other airlines and this starts with opening our skies to the likes of Flybe, who have the right aircraft to serve a community of our size and who can operate high frequency flights. We either allow competition for Aurigny, or we ditch them on non-essential routes where they are making a loss (which is pretty much every route except Gatwick) and have proper airlines serving us, who know what they are doing. Aurigny are supposed to be commencing a Luton route meaning they will be serving 4 London airports! Who makes these decisions? We know they aren’t profitable on Stansted or City, so why exacerbate the losses by opening up another London route which will likely run at a loss? Madness.

Easyjet are the only airline who would consider flying here with an extended runway and they have the right aircraft for the job. Extend the runway by all means, but first sort out our closed skies policy, make a decision on what Aurigny should and shouldn't be doing and let's get some concrete evidence that other airlines will come. We will otherwise have an extra 300m of runway which benefits no-one, not even Aurigny!

Rokayne

I love your optimism in non local interested airlines taking on our lifeline routes - especially with the history of non-local airlines abandonment to us to date for their own interest. And local commercial

with Blue Islands

I'm not usually pro state businesses but sometimes they are an advantage - electricity, communications (now gone) water,

Air links, sea links (condor) etc

A mixed economy is a strength -

nit a weekness.

Businesspeople use the fear of xenophobia to breakdown a relevant level or protectionism for the growth of their own wealth and greed and the left believe it as anti- watablishment, which it is - in favour orf capitalism that they so despise but are gullible to fighting to support

Browndog

I said non-local airlines should be taking on our non-essential routes.

Flybe "abandoned" us on the Gatwick route because they were losing money and on the brink of collapse. Why any islander feels Flybe owed it to guernsey to continue on that route I don't know. Just look at Aurigny, they abandoned us on the jersey route and they're publicly owned!!

Alvin

Yes Flybe abandoned us on the Gatwick route - they were actually being clobbered by Aurigny who, over a few years, gained the lion share of the market on that route. But they actually abandoned everyone on the Gatwick routes as they pulled out and sold their slots.

With one exception. Newquay. Which to this day is operated by their Dash 8-400s - a nicer aircraft to fly in than the ATRs, but still a turbo-prop. Even though, when Aurigny were trying justify the purchase of the jet, people were claiming that Gatwick would stop turbo-props from landing there.

This is because the flights are subsidized by the county council. Fares on the Newquay - Gatwick route can be as low as £24.99. The flight time is a little bit longer than the Guernsey-Gatwick route.

Interestingly enough, Flybe offer Jersey-London City for as little as £39.99 - even though London City is one of the most expensive airports to fly to !

And yet the lowest fare between Guernsey and Jersey is also a whopping £39.99.

The cheapest Aurigny Guernsey - Gatwick fare is £ 49.00 ( though sometimes they offer special reductions down to £39.00 ).

It's madness ! Instead of investigating unnecessary runway extensions, Deputy Kuttelwascher should be investigating air-fares and inter-island air-links !

Johnwollap

We have wasted enough money on the airport runway and the AURIGNY airline especially as the airline chose an aircraft (Dornier) which was chosen over the Twin Otter as it had

Alvin

Not sure whether it was wrong to choose the Dornier over the Twin Otter... but it was wrong to purchase old second hand Dorniers instead of the new ones.

They should have ordered the new ones way back before they started concentrating on entering the jet age.

Muzeek

Build it and they will come, what a stupid idea, there is no guarantee whatsoever that tourists will flock here again.

We don't have the hotels, in fact Greenacres got permission for change of use to a care home reason given that the tourist industry was in decline. So what was that all about.

The public these days want good transport links, on time and at a good price, this we dont have.

Cost of accommodation on the island is too expensive compared to other holiday destinations.

And what attractions are there here for the tourists, very few I would suggest.

Sorry but we are living in the past if we think that Guernsey can attract more tourists in the future, and it would be plain stupid to waste money on this project.

Strange that at the hustings saving public money was a big topic, now just months later our politicians totally ignore the publics feelings.

paulegsy

Muzeek

You seem to have misinterpreted my "Build it and they will come "Analogy, it is a fact if you do nothing you will lose further operators and this time as everyone has already eloquently explained there will be no third level airlines left with suitable equipement to operate to Guernsey.

Will Aurigny continue to be bailed out by the tax payer Year after Year, I think not.

The people that would come to the Island are not just "Tourists" per se, there is huge market for people wanting short breaks say 3 to 4 nights or weekend travel, but as I said before you have to have the right priced accomodation available, the like so Greenacres Hotel was a dead beat dead hole throw back from the late sixties, you need clean modern simplistic hotels such as Premier Inn, Holiday Inn express courtyard by Marriot to name but a few.

What is the alternative, Do Nothing ?? and then what ???

Alvin

As long as London City has a runway the same length as ours there will always be aircraft available that are able to fly into Guernsey. Swiss launch the new Bombadier C class on their London City routes next month.

Even if the planned runway extensions at London City do one day materialize - maybe in five or ten years time - there will be enough smallish new generation jets and turbo props around to carry us on through to 2040 and beyond.

Then - if you and I and maybe even Deputy Kuttelwascher are around - we can talk and debate an Airport strategy to replace Airport 2040 !

REGINALD

Deputy Kuttelwascher, and other States members, 'stop, think, and think again' it is Spending Constraint' time for Guernsey.!! Runway extensions are 'very expensive' with no guarantee that it will improve business. ! Guernsey is no longer 'flush with cash' ! Wake Up, Get real.! You may have wanted to be a pilot as a little boy, but, forget it., and also the runway extension as just another waste of tax payers money

Stop, think and think again please. ?.

Rokayne

Kurtkewascher is flying the flag of his own brand.

He knows this was thrown out not very long ago.

He should know low cost airlines aren't interested I us because we are too small a market.

We are too small because we have a limited global attraction - unlike post war.

What is he trying to do? Live in the past? It's not like that now. Revive the past -

Progress

I'm more worried about the rubbish Roffey spouted in todays press concerning this matter. Passenger numbers in Jersey have rocketed since Easyjet started its Gatwick service, BAs numbers are also very healthy. The days of the bone headed Gurn should be consigned to the dustbin.

GM

Progress

But we could not possibly replicate what Jersey has done - we have hardly any hotels left. How could we take tens of thousands of extra passengers when there's nowhere for them to stay? Our current hotels have lots of capacity in the winter months when no tourists would want to come anyway. In the summer months they have only a modest amount of extra capacity - certainly not enough to take more than a tiny fraction of the numbers that Easyjet would need to carry to make it remotely viable for them.

Without several new sizeable and decently priced hotels we are a totally non-viable market for someone like Easyjet. Spending £30m to lengthen the runway to try to attract them would be a complete waste of money until we have somehow increased the hotel bed supply by a considerable amount. We probably need twice as many hotel beds that we have currently.

markB

good point GM ....where are we going to put um!!

GM

MarkB

It is so obvious to anyone with half a commercial brain (which admittedly rules out several posters). New visitors will not come without a hotel bed to sleep in.

An airline like Easyjet would only be interested if they could bring in 30,000 to 50,000 visitors per annum (and what about the winter - who wants to come here then?). If we are realistically only talking about new visitors coming for 7 months a year what happens to our air links for the rest of the year?

Let's think positively. Let's assume that there are several very brave investors out there who decide between them to invest in 3-4 new 200-bed hotels. Because that's what it would need to boost our bed stock to make an Easyjet route viable. Look around you. How many potential new hotel sites can you see? I can't see any! Even if one or two do exist, how long to get planning permission? 2 years? How long to build them? 2 years? So 4 years from conception to opening.

There is a total mismatch between available bed stock and what an Easyjet would require. They would conclude that for themselves when doing their own viability study. It just does not work.

We'd be far better off throwing an extra £3m a year at Aurigny to get them to slash their fares and drop unprofitable routes, with the aim of filling our existing bed stock as much as possible than to waste £30m on a totally pointless runway extension.

Spending a few million on decent ILS to counter the fog effect would also be wise. God knows how much fog costs Aurigny each year with all their UK hotel bills for passengers.

Alvin

Easyjet are not interested where they get their passengers and where they stay on the island.

They saw 300000 passengers on the Gatwick route and so were very interested in taking a share of that. They don't care on expanding that particular market - they just wanted a nice healthy share of it.... at the expense, of course, to Aurigny !

Until T & R shut the door... so Easyjet walked away. No other route has anywhere near that amount of demand so Easyjet will not be coming even if the runway is extended all the way to Pleinmont !

Progress

Its putting the building blocks into place to regenerate an industry that has been left to falter for too long, whilst further protecting the finance sector that is currently losing market share to other places, particularly Jersey. The runway extension is the 1st phase.

Alvin

Absolutely hysterical ! I can only imagine that you are somehow involved in the construction business, airport lighting or whatever !! :-)

Alvin

Progress...

Yes. Passenger numbers on the Jersey - Gatwick route have been seeing a healthy increase in recent years thanks to the competition between BA and Easyjet. But Easyjet could actually fly into Guernsey even with no runway extension but never will do so, with or without a runway extension, as long as the States aim to protect the monopoly of Aurigny. The question is whether one wants to dispel with the stability and security of Aurigny and open up the field to unchecked and uncontrolled private airlines who could abandon routes quicker than they start them. Flybe one example, Blue Islands another.

The fact remains that there is still no guarantee - not even a hint of one - that any new airlines would start flying into Guernsey if the runway was extended to 1700 metres. If Deputy Kuttelwascher could bring to the table firm commitments from potential new airlines then one might consider again. But he won't because he can't. The only airline we are talking about is Easyjet and that is case closed because of the situation with Aurigny.

Extend the runway to 2500 metres, allowing the likes of Ryanair, Norwegian and others to use their B737-800s and other airlines flying the new generation type of jets such as the B787 and soon A350, to come in and one has more scope to try and find a potential new airline. But that will not happen as the area around the airport could not cope with such a large extension and the island does not have the demand for air-travel to support such large aircraft.

Bear in mind that Guernsey's population is stagnant, and Jersey's is still booming. Theirs is now over the 102000 mark according to the latest news. That is over 64 % more than Guernsey. And, on top of that, they have more than double the number of tourist beds.

Historically, looking back over the past ten years and more, Jersey Airport has handled 55 - 60 % more passengers than Guernsey. The figures are there to check on the CAA website. Do not expect that to change in the coming ten years and more !

Guernzee

We had our chance to extend the runway when Lagan was here doing their work, it was decided that was a no go, why on earth would we spend even more money to do it now?

Prospero

Lunacy, complete and utter lunacy.

Expect much, much more in the coming months.

All this and more was hatched prior to the election - Its What Our Bond Money Was Made For !

Take it away Gav !

markB

Just a thought... but has anyone in the States actually asked anyone like BA, Easy Jet, Ryian Air etc. etc. if they would be interested coming here if we had a longer runway??? may be worth getting some feed back from them before wasting another shed load of money.

personally I think we should be looking at improving the boats not runways.

Alvin

BA could fly into Guernsey as it is as they have the aircraft in their BA Cityflyer fleet which concentrates very much on London City - and that has a runway of similar size as Guernsey.

Easyjet will not come even with a runway extension unless the monopolistic situation of Aurigny is resolved and they are given financial incentives to start a new route.

Ryanair and the other major low budget carrier Norwegian will not fly into Guernsey even if the runway is lengthened to 1700 metres as they operate the B737-800s which need a lot more runway length.

Jet2 could operate their B737-300s but those are supposed to be phased out in favour of the larger B737-800s.

There are dozens of airlines flying into London City despite that airport having a runway the same size as Guernsey's and having sky-high airport charges. But they are not coming here. Maybe Deputy Kuttelwascher could go and ask them why, instead of wasting time and money on trying to get a runway extension.

Curly

£30 million could buy us our own ferry, Now there's an idea!

Alvin

Or maybe even two smaller, all weather, fast ferries carrying 200 - 250 passengers and serving Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Weymouth and St Malo ?

markB

Not sure we would get much for £30m considering the Liberation was £50M and what did we get??

Alvin

A big white floating elephant ! :-)

No... I would go for two much smaller all-passenger ships. Let Condor handle the roll on roll off traffic - concentrate on the foot passengers. Day returns to Jersey or Alderney for 30 quid. Day returns to or from the UK or France for 50 quid.

I am not so well informed on maritime matters as aviation but it's just an idea.

Guernzee

The other thing is, do we really as a small island want larger noisier jets landing/taking off from our airport, have you heard them they're not exactly quiet!

Someone above has rightly pointed out that larger airlines are not interested in flying here as it won't financially stack up as hardly anyone comes to guernsey.

Do they truly believe that extending the runway will miraculously entice droves of tourists to head to guernsey which has very little to offer these days? I highly doubt it!

Insider

A £30m gamble, not good use of OUR money at all. Absolutely no evidence that after spending all that money that any new airlines or routes will materialise.......

paulegsy

I was interested to read the following chart. In relation to the Boeing 737-800

http://i49.tinypic.com/2wnoju8.png

Alvin

Very good Paul.

It's a lovely sunny afternoon with a fair wind coming in from the west as you bring your near empty B737-800 easily down on to runway 27 at Guernsey Airport which had recently been extended to 1720 metres.

You are taking on 180 passengers, fuel and luggage for the return flight back to Stansted. But the weather is changing - the wind has swung around from the east and it is now raining heavily.

What do you do you do ?

Well, anything you want except even thinking of trying to take off !! But you could be thinking why did they not extend the runway to 2200 metres or so !

Sara Thompson

Not only is this a ludicrous suggestion, it's the same old, same old from the States - going back over previous decisions because they don't agree with them.

If this gets laughed out of the States, as it should, I hope Deputy Kuttelwascher will do the decent thing and resign.

We are too small for the 'big' airlines and have to accept it's one of the downsides of living here.

Insider

Harsh to blame the whole States as so far this is just the off Deputy...

InteresTed

Let's cut to the chase.

Save some money. Cut out the expensive runway stuff. Sell off our Gatwick slots to the highest bidder and stop pretending they have any interest in bringing 37 people here on a February morning. Give some money to the spivs who think they may temporarily make a bit of cash and sell our 'plane..

Shut down the shop and start growing.

Alternatively, protect our transport links like most of the small islands in the world.

Simon V

Obviously some platitudes never change especially amongst the naysayers but with Britain voting to leave the European Union it changes the game somewhat for Island tourism. Perhaps the President for Economic Developement on Guernsey saw this coming and guessed what a tumble in Sterling could mean for Tourism. Well a weaker pound could mean cheaper holidays for our European market and could also see conversely Guernsey becoming even more popular with the Brits as their pound would stretch further here then abroad.

Get on and extend that runway as a matter of urgency,it's a very sensible investment in the Islands infrastructure and its Visitor economy.

markB

Simon V - read what GM said in reply to me, it makes sense, why are you so against investing in a better ferry service, or are they not the "sort" you want staying at your hotel?

People in the UK may well end up with more in their pockets once the dust has settled and Sun, Sea and Sangria will be on their list of holiday destinations not us.

Alvin

Oh welcome back Simon... where have you been hiding all this time ? ;-)

You must have been rejoicing with JK's, ( Jan Kuttelwascher - not Jeremy Kyle ), proposals. But down to earth now... and fasten your seat-belt because the captain has announced that there is turbulence ahead... runway extension is not going to happen.

JK may waste more States time and money but it will be to no avail.

But good times for Guernsey Tourism as the weak pound will encourage more visitors from the Continent - if the island wakes up and does, for once, proper marketing campaigns - and will benefit from the rise in domestic tourism. However, air-links to Europe have to be improved, and I am not talking about longer runways, Airbus 320 or B737-800 flights, or flights to Barcelona for that matter, but simply, less expensive and more effective connections inter major European cities. You know exactly what I mean... either direct flights or code-share agreements transiting via a UK airport. With the very recent demise of NLM hitting the news, there will be no Rotterdam service, the service from Austria is not materializing it seems, ( both the Swiss and Austrian tour operators are concentrating more on Jersey sad to say ), and Guernsey only has the German routes left to count on. The UK market may be important but the Continent offers much bigger potential.

paulegsy

Alvin

Cityjet started ops today into Guernsey from Rotterdam using a BAe146 RJ85, which comes in direct and outbound via Jersey

paulegsy

To make a point

The company which ceased ops was in fact VLM NOT NLM

Alvin

My apologies - typing mistake. Indeed VLM and not NLM. Saw the news yesterday on another travel website about its demise and certainly very glad that the holiday makers who had booked have had their holidays saved. But will this charter run the full course of its planned season - or is it just a one off ?

paulegsy

The Netherlands charter is going to be throughout the summer, not a one off.

Insider

Please let me know when you have some proof that gambling £30m will actually bring in more airlines and routes?

Insider

Still searching for the elusive evidence Simon?

Insider

sensible investment for your hotel?

Vraic-eater

Flew into London City for the first time last week. There is clearly no shortage of aircraft able to use our runway, including modern Embraer jets from British Airways City Flyer fleet. I really do wish our deputies could move on from their decisions to the next task instead of wasting time and money revisiting decisions already made. I do not support island-wide voting but if it comes in then I will enjoy not voting for JK.

Alvin

Exactly what I have been saying for years, Vraic-eater. And the funny thing is that those Embraer jets you saw would have been the 170s or 190s - not the larger 195 that Aurigny has which actually is not certified to land at London City !

You will no doubt have seen various Fokker 50s and BAe 146s/Avro RJ85s. Next month the new Bombadier C Series will start flying into London City and that is one of the new generation jets being touted to replace the aging BAe146s; proving that as long as there is a London City Airport there will be aircraft in the future able to operate into Guernsey.

Alvin

There have been quite a few articles in the Press recently on the idea of extending the runway, as well as quite extensive coverage in the rest of the media.

But not a single person who is in favour of this mad-hat wasteful scheme can present a single shred of evidence that a runway extension would bring in new airlines, increase passenger traffic or reduce fares !

Not even the smallest grain of evidence !!

Some deputies, ( though, fortunately, I believe only a small minority ), and certain so-called business leaders justify blowing 30 million quid of public money, ( note : not their own money ), by crying out parrot-fashion "Build it and it will come", "Boost for the economy", "Making a statement" and "Sending a signal that Guernsey is open for business" !!

I say to them : if you want to make a statement, if you want to send a signal that Guernsey is open for business, get all these damn disused vineries and hotels developed and used for something - and stop building on green areas ! The States should order the compulsory purchase, at minimum price, of all these disused sites and use that 30 million quid for their development - into low cost housing for first-time buyers, care homes or whatever !

Now that is making a statement ! And might prevent another disused hotel burning down like the Idlerocks and now St Martins !!

Progress

Now here's a rarity, I agree with Alvin. It is hugely stressing to see St. Martins & Idelrocks hotel sites not being redeveloped for tourism. What I do also believe is that we need incentives for development to happen, Easyjet could well be one of them.

Kittycat

I completely agree, Alvin!

stormy

A longer runway may mean bigger planes but not more passengers, so what's the point? Both our tourist industry and financial sector are shrinking and a grandiose project such as this mega expensive runway extension without major improvements to the Island's infrastructure is not going to reverse that trend. Brave and innovative thinking is required to improve our position in the world of finance and tourism and I hope the new Committee for Economic Development is looking at essentials and has more sense than supporting this fool's undertaking.

Progress

So enlighten us with your wisdom and provide some ideas on how to reverse this trend?

Nearly Local

Ok let me get this straight ,Simon V and all the other people on here who are calling for the runway extension want to -

1 Spend £30 Million and HOPE EasyJet will fly to Guernsey

2 Will then give EasyJet free landing slots and pay towards EasyJets marketing budget (Does anyone know what the net cost to Jersey is? )

3 Effectively write off the debt the states currently have in Aurigny as where would leave Aurigny in trying to break even if the tax payer is subsidising EasyJet ?

And of course all you people calling for this are going to be happy to pay more tax either directly or indirectly to fund this ?

Simon V

Ho Ho Ho Nearly Local, to help you understand

1. When something pays for itself it's self funding not necesarly a cost and if it brings growth to the Island should be seen more as an investment.

2.Easyjet wanted to fly into Guernsey but the runway was too short for its modern planes that it successfully operates.

3. The Islands favourite airline currently enjoy the monopoly on Gatwick Guernsey ,alas to date still have to make a profit.with a longer runway and increased growth in air passengers to Guernsey it is possible to reduce some of the subsidies the States pays out up at the airport.

And of course creating growth takes the need for increasing taxes out of the equation .

Nearly Local

Are you auditioning for Father Xmas ?

Please explain

1 If we give EasyJet free landing slots and pay for the marketing costs how do the tax payer get the £30 million back ?

2 Do you have a direct contact in EasyJet that will confirm if we follow your "if we build in they will come "?

Simon V

I think you are jumping the gun hear Nearly Local, there will be a compelling business case produced for October ,best to wait till then rather than jumping to conclusions about free landing slots and preferred airlines.

Good witticism on Father Christmas though it made me laugh !

paulegsy

Nearly Local, you are missing the point.

Spending £30 Million is not just to attract a carrier like Easyjet, there are many European operators that could be encouraged to fly to Guernsey, but this takes time and regular Investment.

The Tourist Board are not doing what they should be doing, the Island needs to market itself in a pro active way, not just taking out stupid ads in national newspapers. Be professional and make the advertising look slick and smart, you have to get the salient points across, not try doing it on the cheap.

Marketing is a serious business and one which needs to be kept up if you want any chance of getting return and new business.

Going back to charters, which I believe would bring in much needed boost for the Island especially from Germany, Years ago we had Ten flights on a Saturday ! Yes TEN, now you have two, someone somewhere is not doing there job.

Alvin

Paul... we keep on hearing the argument that that there are many European operators that could be encouraged to fly to Guernsey.

Fine. But not on condition of a runway extension. There are many operators who have the equipment to operate safely into Guernsey without the need for a runway extension. Concentrate on those first.

There are very few airlines in Europe who can not operate now with the existing runway but who could operate it if the runway was extended to 1700 metres. There are many others who could not operate into Guernsey even if the runway was extended to 1700 metres because they are operating the Boeing 737-800 or 900, the Airbus 321 or 330, or whatever.

The whole point is that there is no guarantee at all, not even a hint of a promise, that a new airline would start flying into Guernsey if the runway is extended to 1700 metres. The supporters of the extension can not name one new airline that would come. They keep on referring to Jersey and Easyjet but Easyjet, under the present circumstances, are not coming even if you extend the runway all the way to Pleinmont !

paulegsy

Alvin... I agree with you on certain point, but as youquite correctly state there are more aircraft types than the B737-800 /900.

In fact the most popular airliner type is the Airbus A319 and A320, both of which can easily operate from Guernsey's current runway, the journey time with this type of aircraft to Guernsey would only be 2 to 3 hours travel time, with fuel reserves etc etc there would be no need to uplift too much fuel on the return journey,Less if the flight went out via Jersey as Lufthansa used to do with both B737-300 and occassionaly a B737-400, they also rostered an A320 on more than one occassion, but in the end did not use it.

We have seen Titan use an A320 now for Aurigny and usage on Guernsey to UK destinations would be quite ok, as again less fuel to upload, these modern jets require very little runway as the engines are ultra modern technology.

So in fairness,lets not keep quoting Easyjet as in my humble opinion we should look to continental carriers such as SAS Swiss,KLM and Germania to name a few.

More agressive and sensible marketing of the Island is what is required and a director who has proven track record in putting a destination to the Airlines (£30 Million could buy a lot of good advertising, but I for one think the runway extension, would be more value in the long run).

By the way the runway can only be extended in one direction and that is the 27 end heading towards the water tower. The other end would mean demolishing St Peters Village !!

Alvin

The only reason I keep mentioning Easyjet, Paul, is that that is what appears to be in most peoples minds - especially the supporters of a runway extension. People look at some of the crazy fares that EJ offer from Jersey, they see that Jersey has a runway of 1700 metres and so, lo and behold, they put one and one together and think that if Guernsey has the same length of runway as Jersey then Easyjet will come in to Guernsey as well and offer the same magical fares !

And, of course, the sensible, more prudent and better informed person knows that is not the case and there are many other factors that play a role in deciding whether an airline will come in. For airlines such as Lufthansa, Swiss, Alitalia, and so on, they, or their subsidiaries, have aircraft smaller than the A319 and A320. You did come up with an interesting name... Germania. They do not have anything smaller than the A320 and are a low cost carrier. Whether there is sufficient demand out there in Germany to fill an Airbus 320 to Guernsey, even just on a weekly basis in the summer is debatable.

No... one needs more routes from the Continent but probably smaller aircraft would suffice... such as the Embraer jets, the Dash 8s and the ATRs. One needs more active promotion to the various specialist tour operators over there - without their participation the whole idea is a non-starter. Then, of course, a franchise, code-share or joint-venture with a large international carrier such as BA so that those smaller travel companies can book individuals easily all the way through to Guernsey easily if direct flights are not available. Bear in mind that Guernsey is geared to the mid to up -market, individual tourist often in the over 50s age-group and should do more to encourage more bookings from that sector. Hotels such as SPP, BL or LGM are ideal for that type of market which can support higher prices. They are not suited to mass-market, low budget, all-inclusive tour programmes.

Then of course, I have not even started on the inter-island air-links as well as the sea links !!

Incidentally, if the runway were to be extended eastwards, how would they overcome that slope ? Surely any extension eastwards would be impractical with the west being the only possibility ?

paulegsy

Alvin,

Germania operate B737-700NG as well as the A320.

As regards the runway, if you ;look east from the 27 threshold there is a road which would have to be diverted, past that their is a large field which is where the extention would be created possibly 300 max 500 metres, after that you are down on a steep slope and there is a house in the valley.

There would be infill, but nothing very serious.

Mostly agree with everything else you said.

Nearly Local

Don't disagree with some of your comments but your effectively saying lets gamble £30 million and hope we get more carriers interested in coming to Guernsey

Don't disagree with your comments re visit Guernsey marketing

Cher Eugene

No Contest; Alvin wins 10 - 0

Progress

Until Alvin comes up with any other alternatives which so far despite hours of monotonous posts from wherever he lives (Tinbuctoo probably) hasn't been the case, he isn't even in the game.

Alvin

Well, Alvin, has indeed put forward numerous other strategies that could be explored and implemented, as have many other people.

But there are the few who remain blind and who do not want to see, and would prefer that the States throw away 30 million quid for nothing.

Interesting article in today's Press by Peter Roffey, titled "Runway extension could be £30m. down the drain"

Simon V

Alvin, I'm afraid Roffeys infatuated with Gatwick and protectionism.

The Island needs new routes and more airlines servicing Guernsey who can say what the future holds ? A third runway at Gatwick or a link into Scotland,Ireland,London Southend, Schipol,Paris.

With a weaker pound Tourists are going to find even better value in Guernsey,businesses will enjoy better connections and ,most important of all,perhaps locals will be allowed access to genuine budget airline fares at last ?

Your ideas are too radical Alvin -Nationalise hotels,privatise the airport,code share with BA etc 23 postings wasted I'm afraid better get on and do what we all knew had to be done ,lengthen the runway , to allow fares are to come down to affordable prices for all.

Beanjar

How's business, Simon V? Not too good, I'm guessing. Not if all your ideas are as daft and simplistic as chucking £30 million at the runway and hoping everything will turn out wonderful.

The airport and airline are adequate, why not look at your crazy hotel prices if you want more custom? Stop pricing 'per person'! You might kid yourself that £95 B&B a night doesn't sound bad but, in the real world, £190 per room per night is too damn much. Even if they were doing flights for £50 return, nobody wants to get ripped off like that.

jjlehto

Simon

What would your plan be if for whatever reason EasyJet didn't come? From what Alvin has said it seems the extension being planned is only long enough for Easyjet, but it seems a bit daft to spend £30mio on the chance of attracting 1 extra operator.

Simon V

Beanjar hi

Our Hotel is full and so are our self catering units all ten of them so this would disprove your theory.

In fact paying guests rate our Hotel very highly 4.5 stars out of 5 on trip advisor .

You say there is nothing run with our airline, can you please explain why it only scores 1.5 out of 5 on its own Facebook score as graded by customers - that's even lower than Condor and is alarming.

As for the terminal yep it's lovely I would like to see an upgrade of baggage handling with improved disabled access together with a better ILS.

Finally the runway needs to be lengthened.

Simon V

JJLetho hi

It's not my plan -this thread is about its the Committee for economic Developments plan and I do not really want to divulge specific targets who could or could not be on hit list to try to service a new route or routes to Guernsey as its sensitive information.

There are other airports that have benefited from lengthening their runway and I am sure Guernsey will attract more routes and new operators with a longer runway than an overly short one if we get it right.

I believe Guernsey can enjoy better connectivity which should benefit locals,Buisness and Tourism / Sports Tourism - there is growth to be had in Tourism but you won't get any without an extension.

Beanjar

I am surprised to hear the hotel is full, I can only imagine they are not paying anything like your advertised high season rate of £190 B&B for a standard double or twin. I travel a fair amount in 2-5 star hotels and can count on the fingers of one hand how often I've paid as much.

Also, based on my opportunity to compare with other airlines worldwide, amazed that Aurigny scores so low. I don't do facebook so I can't check it out. I did see that one flake has left 4 terrible rants on TripAdvisor slagging them off. Largely based on the fact there was a fog delay incoming and he hadn't pre-booked a hotel. As I am sure you are aware, a few bitter & twisted types can play havoc with review scores.

I note that my share of £30 million (assuming no overspend) is about £1000, PLEASE stop trying to throw it away on this daft, pointless, vanity project.

Alvin

Simon... Maybe Roffey is right and you are wrong.

Yes there are loads of different possibilities on how to improve airlinks, cut air-fares, increase traffic, and boost tourism.

But simply extending the runway in the hope that new airlines will come is the most short-sighted and wasteful of the lot and most likely will bring no positive results at all.

The main reason Easyjet withdrew their application was not because they suddenly noticed that the runway was too short or had shrunk - but was because of T & R 's protectionist stance. Read the Strategic Airlinks Report.

And tell us which airlines will come in because the runway has been extended.

You can't.

Simon V

Alvin

Have a look at Facebook for Aurignys rating I would appreciate your view

Then have a look at Good or Bad business Guernsey on Facebook - all is not well !

Where is Super Dave Jones when you need him ?

Insider

"Simon V

June 27, 2016 6:42 pm

JJLetho hi

There are other airports that have benefited from lengthening their runway and I am sure Guernsey will attract more routes and new operators with a longer runway than an overly short one if we get it right."

If you are so sure, then perhaps you'd like to underwrite this expenditure? Surely you are not saying the States should gamble £30m without any evidence that new airlines/routes will come?

Simon V

Insider my family and I have millions already invested on the Island in Guernsey Tourism. If you add in the investment by others hotels restaurants self catering guest houses ad campsitesin the Islands the figure comes to billions.

It's now time for the States to invest some money in the infrastructure of the Island and match the privately invested billions by future proofing the runway and extending it 300 m to allow in the types of jets most commonly operated by modern airlines the A320.

A longer runway will see lower fares and growth in numbers arriving by air.

GM

Simon V @3.55pm

No wonder you think that a runway extension is viable. It's because your calculator is clearly broken.

You say that there are "billions" invested already in Guernsey's tourism industry. I've never heard anything so ridiculous.

Can you please provide us with a breakdown of this "billions" figure? A back of a fag packet calculation will do.

On the basis that "billions" is more than one, I'll be generous. Let's see if you can get close to £2 billion. I don't think you'll get even remotely close to £200m.

Its always been clear to me that you have no idea when it comes to numbers. Or to anything commercial for that matter.

Billions. BILLIONS!! I nearly spilt my coffee when I read that.

Simon V

Listen GM if we don't get some growth going in this Island soon,then with a reducing working population ,raising CS costs and ageing demographics we might be having to put income tax up to 28% for locals that live and work here to cover establishment costs.

So you can try and stand in the way of progress but change needs to happen and change is going to come.

GM

Simon V

Please answer my question regarding your claim of billions. I'm looking forward to reading that.

If the States were to waste £30m on a runway extension, then an extra £150m of revenue would need to be generated to produce £30m of income tax revenue (based on 20%) to recoup it. As a longer runway will not produce any extra visitors whatsoever, not least because there aren't anywhere near enough hotel beds to attract low-cost carriers, as I have pointed out ad nauseum, and as cheaper fares for islanders would not help our own economy one iota, your claim is looking even more ill thought-out with every new post.

You are now really looking extremely foolish. It seems obvious that you can't be supplying the business intellect at LGM.

Insider

"Simon V

June 28, 2016 3:55 pm

A longer runway will see lower fares and growth in numbers arriving by air"

Where is the evidence to backup this claim? Surely you are not saying the States should spend £30m on a gamble in the hope this happens?

Jamie B

Hey GM, not wishing to defend Simon V, but weren't you the man who claimed that the public service pensions would leave the Island with TRILLIONS of pounds of debt?? Greenhouses, stones and all that.

GM

Jamie

No I most certainly did not say "trillions" re the pension scheme. I said "billions".

The deficit was already £650m last year, and heading quickly towards £1 billion. It will probably be there within 5 years.

Please tell me where/how that is inaccurate. No mention of trillions needed.

But hey, the island is in such a financial mess already because of all that pension scheme debt which it can never repay, I guess throwing a further £30m at it on a needless runway extension won't make too much difference. If the island is going bust, might as well do it in as much style as possible.

Jamie B

To quote your good self GM:

"...scheme assets of £930m and scheme liabilities of £1,216 billion. That's a deficit, not a surplus."

(http://guernseypress.com/news/2013/01/02/revealed-103m-cost-of-states-pension-plan/#Fj748yUWeZstWDpo.99)

Unless I'm very much mistaken you're talking in the trillions there fella. Just one of many occasions where you appear to have got your figures in a twist.

GM

JamieB

OK, so I mistyped and put a comma where a decimal point should have been. The context of the post made it very clear that was the case.

Whereas Simon V said billions and clearly meant billions. And has completely clammed up when requested to expand on his ridiculous statement. I wonder why.

JamieB - I'd be very keen to know when else I might have got my figures wrong. I'm sure you've got it all logged somewhere, as you clearly think it is on "many occasions". Did I perhaps put a semi-colon instead of a colon? That'll keep me awake tonight.

Simon V

GM

I think I was trying to express that private enterprise has billions invested across the archipelago that is the Channel Islands and that a 30 m investment made by the Govt. would be welcome investment in Tourism.

A billion is a thousand million and a trillion is a million million GM.

You claim that I could not get even close to to 200,000,000 ?

Well at current day's values to buy a fleet like Condors would cost that.

Bill Gates is the largest billionaire 50 ban odd and we all use his soft wear but that probably won't count. I doubt if you would allow that we have billionaires with money invested in Tourism either.

GM

Simon V

Strewth, you are clutching at straws there.

You "think" it's what you were getting at? Don't you know?

"The archipelago of the Channel Islands"? No, you were talking about Guernsey. I'll grant you the Bailiwick, but not Jersey as well as you very clearly were not referring to our larger tourism competitor.

Including Condor's fleet might get you to £100m, but I'm only going to allow you 20% of that as around 80% of its passenger numbers relate to people visiting the UK, Jersey and France.

You were talking about billions being invested in the local tourism infrastructure, not people who happen to have billions, so I suggest you keep your calculations focused on that.

Like I said, you'll struggle to get past £200m.

As you clearly know what a billion is, you know what you need to do to back up your claim.

The ball's back in your court.

Simon V

GM

I clearly stated Islands

Condors HQ is in St PP so £200,000,000 to replace their fleet at current day prices. In actual fact one could reason that Macquarie who own them ,are worth £80 billion and they have that invested ,albeit in part, in CI travel

Next up Flybe maybe you could come up with a value on their 100 or so aircraft as they fly to the islands ,as do Aurigny and Blue Islands

Then BA and Easyjet,Air Berlin etc etc the list is almost endless the carriers investment alone in the Islands is billions ,doubtless you will probably value it in pence.

It's futile discussing this any further as you keep moving the goalposts GM

I would have to raise a fine for YOUR lame excuse of getting the comma in the wrong place or forgetting the decimal point. Tut,tut tut.

You profess to be an accountant,you shouldn't be making these schoolboy errors !

Shame really 1960 was an exceptional vintage.

One final question GM did you not previously say the extension should have been done to the runway when the last works(£80m) were done ?

GM

Simon V

Keep digging - you are making yourself look very foolish. I haven't moved any goalposts!

This whole thread is about Guernsey's tourism industry and what the States should do about it. Jersey's is irrelevant. What it had or hasn't got has absolutely nothing to do with revenue for Guernsey.

Condor's fleet does not have £200m invested in Guernsey. It has about half that money (at best) invested in a fleet which mostly serves three other places.

Flybe serves several cities around the UK with its fleet. About 5% of its fleet touches Guernsey. Blue Islands has three 40 year old ATRs which they would struggle to give away.

Easyjet and Air Berlin only serve Jersey, not Guernsey.

I believe I did say, about 3 years ago, that if the runway was to be extended then it should have been done at the same time as the original work. Times are very different 3 years on. We have a sizeable and growing budget deficit and money is not there to be speculated with. Furthermore, the taxpayers' relationship with Aurigny has evolved, and even furthermore, it has become very clear that the commercial case for lengthening the runway now is non-existent.

Given the weakness of your argument you are quite right - there is no point in continuing the debate. You have already proved beyond doubt that you have no commercial acumen whatsoever. You should be grateful to the rest of your family for possessing the business skills which seem to have passed you by. If I was them I'd keep you on a very short leash. If you are able to be as reckless with the family business as you would like to be with taxpayers' money, then the family could all very quickly suffer the "riches to rags" experience.

Keep digging your deep hole. You'll hit Australia fairly soon.

Trevor Hockey

Simon V

We don't need a longer runway, we just need more attractive airline pricing. Once the people are here then they will spend money, it just ain't rocket science, they will need transport, they will need somewhere to stay and they will need to eat, so if we subsidised the flight prices then we would get back some of the money in these other areas.

What about if you stay in your hotel for a week on half board, then they get back £100 flight cost from yourself, surely that would boost your takings.? At £15 per person per night you could probably cover most of that with bar takings.?

Simon V

Young Trev the budget airlines tend to use A320 and Guernsey's runway is too short for that most popularly used jet.we need to future proof the runway by extending it and we should be getting on with that first as a priority.

I fully support Dept Peter Ferbrache and Dept Jan Kuttlewascher we have all seen the results in keeping the runway short high fares and no growth in arrivals whilst Jersey streaks ahead.

Alvin

Ryanair and Norwegian, the largest and the third largest low cost carrier in Europe, operate the B737-800. A runway extension to 1700 metres is not enough to accommodate that type of aircraft.

Beanjar

It seems to me that if your hotel is full, Simon, your customers are not being deterred by either Aurigny or Condor. Surely that undermines your case severely? Unless, of course, you are going to tell us there is a queue of people outside your office telling you they will never return unless they can fly with Ryanair or EasyJet?

Simon V

Beanjar

You are wrong again. We are full again tonight many of our customers did not travel with either Condor or Aurigny.

Some are local,others use their own transport to get here either private jet or boat.

You mentioned earlier if the Island were to future proof the runway by extending it 300 metres in order to accommodate the most popularly used modern jet Airbus 320 that your share would be just £1000 well thirty years ago that would have brought you one weeks timeshare at LGM for 33 years

Or you could book Guernsey Gatwick for two fully flexible and pay £1100

A budget airline flying to the Island would be great news for all tourism,locals and businesses alike.

Beanjar

Some rather conflicting statements here, Simon. If "many of our customers did not travel with either Condor or Aurigny" why on earth do you want to spend £1,000 of my childrens' inheritance on lengthening the runway?

Do you think it is fair to compare fully flexible Aurigny return flights at £550 with non-flexible fares on a cheap airline?

Especially when you are proposing that we should pee away £30 million just to find out if they might want to fly here?

And if they do, whether they will want to fly here all year round or just when there are rich pickings in the school holidays?

And whether they will even be cheap once they have blown away the competition?

Allegedly, you are businessman - so tell me what you would do with your rates if you had a captive market and no other competition?

Simon V

Beanjar explain your correlation between Condor and a runway

I would like to see growth in tourism for the whole Bailiwick ,the quickest way of doing that is addressing our overly short runway.

I have no control over Aurignys fees ,I recently saw 2 adults and 2 children Guernsey Grenoble return for £2000 -I think this is putting more people off travelling to and from Guernsey. It certainly hasn't gone down well locally and this might explain 1.5 out of 5 grading on FB for our local airline which has cost £50 m of taxpayers hard earned so far.If travel is affordable and reliable more people WILL come . Delays don't help either mind you with the airlines reputation but with a fantastic new five star jet I was genuinely shocked and concerned to see such a low report.

As usual Beanjar you seem to have more questions then answers and your last four really are not all that relevant to this thread being off topic and overly negative.

We need more routes into Guernsey different airlines and a longer runway,not just for tourism also buisiness and locals.

Beanjar

Obviously I mentioned Condor and Aurigny because I assumed that was how your off-island guests would arrive. You replied (somewhat unbelievably) that many of your hotel guests are either local or fetch up on their own private yachts. Either way, I can't see why these people will suddenly start arriving by plane - if only there was a Ryanair or EasyJet flight!

If you have a serious, reasoned, argument why don't you just state it? Rather than this continuous obfuscation which is winning nobody over. Please, no more changing the subject and coming up with ever more ludicrous claims regarding '£1000 Aurigny fares'. Obviously nobody believes you, you are just making yourself look more foolish.

Alvin

Simon... The quickest way to boost tourism is to sort out the sea-links !!

Simon V

Alvin it's being addressed but Facebook review of Aurigny 1.5 out of 5 stars currently shows far worse results than Condor 3 out of 5 trip advisor.

Nearly Local

Simon V has anyone done a survey of local hoteliers to see what the occupancy % figures are looking like at the moment ?

If what your saying is that LGM are full and I would suggest the bed stock is less than it was 10 years ago we could end up spending £30 million on runway extension (plus free landing slots and marketing contributions etc ) and then have no where for these additional tourists to stay ?

GM

Nearly Local

That's precisely what I've been telling Simon for months but I'm afraid it's in one ear and out the other.

Without significant extra hotel capacity it would be money down the drain.

Simon V

Nearly local I am sure this will all be included in the compelling business plan put before the States.

GM you said you supported a runway extension but you were only concerned by the costs so please stop changing your mind all the time I find it most discombobulating .

This extension pays for itself.

GM

Simon V

When did I say I supported a runway extension? If it was at no cost to the taxpayer then I would have no reason to be against it (my resistance to it has nothing to do with noise etc), but the cost seems to be £30m - a massive amount of money which would disappear down the drain.

You are welcome to "discombobulate" all you like. Instead of wasting time using big words, I would suggest that you use the time reading some books on basic economics.

Island Wide Voting

£30,000,000 for two hundred yards of tarmac! That's one third of the price of rebuilding LMDC (By the time the first sod is turned)

Sounds like our Procurement department where 'value for money is the over-riding factor that determines all public sector procurement decisions' needs to take a good hard long look at this if it manages to get approval from our new set of gullibles in the Assembly

£28,850,000 plus for the fresh air carrying bus service should NOT be used as a base line example for future projects

Simon V

GM - oh dear you are back on that track not enough beds again too negative for me I'm afraid .

You were going on about mooring ships to accommodate the 2021 Island Games participants the other day ,something Dame Mary Perkins did not agree with ,are you now going to admit you GM were wrong or are you in denial ?

I don't agree with your view point on the runway extension,Island games or indeed your call to bring back the birch.

GM

Simon V

Not "negative" Simon - just realistic unlike you.

I don't think Dame Mary has done her sums either re the available bed stock for the Island Games. Using cruise ships will be unavoidable. How on earth can you say I am "wrong" 5 years in advance? Am I wrong just because I disagree with Dame Mary? Time will tell but I'm very confident of the outcome.

I'm relieved to hear that you don't agree with me on some things. I'd be horrified if I was on the same page as you. We clearly aren't even reading the same book.

Simon V

GM yep I celebrate Christmas and you don't and judging by the timeline of your posts I doubt you even live here whereas I and many others do.

I think Dame Mary Perkins knows very well how to do her sums without your "help".

GM way too negative again, - this runway extension is good news.

Who knows we might even have it in time for Island games Guernsey 2021 now that would be something.

GM

Simon V

Oh I live here all right. For 56 years in fact. Is that long enough to count?

Is Dame Mary an accountant as well then?

No - it would not be good news. It would mean £30m of taxpayers' money completely wasted.

Sofa King

1 Longer Runway

2 Tax breaks for companys in tourism

3 A Casino and adult entertainment

4 New ideas for tourism such as sport,health,island hopping packages,traffic free zoned areas,street entertainment,i would also re introduce the fair and go for a international sport which the island can accomodate.

Nearly Local

If no one has any figures regarding current bed stock and occupancy rates I would suggest someone does before they even contemplate extending the runway.

If Simon V and the others calling for the runway extension are that convinced that we will get more visitors to come to Guernsey they will need somewhere to stay ?

Maybe the States could get a commitment from hoteliers that they will heavily invest in their sites to ensure we have the capacity and the quality that will be needed ?

What do you say Simon V?- If the runway extension gets the go ahead Im guessing you would be investing heavily in your hotel before any factual increases are proven as your asking the States of Guernsey to do the same ?

Simon V

Nearly local

First of all we have to look at this as a long term investment in the infrastructure of the whole Island ,not just tourism.

A longer runway will provide lower fares for Islanders to enjoy and we might well see growth in the population over the next 20 years

Finance are supportive of the extension

There are sufficient Hotels and bed stock available for an increase in occupancy and Further Hotel investment will follow ,we ourselves have been investing in tourism in Guernsey for the last 40 years and many others in the industry have been doing this for even longer.

There is a regeneration going on around town with the bathing pools,Octopus,tourist train and a fine cruise liner business has also thrived.

Our current connectivity needs to be reviewed and improved and it starts as Dept Peter Ferbrache rightly says at the airport with a longer runway.

There will bea review of Aurigny following that suggestion at air links scrutiny suggestion.

Paul Luxon at Condor knows what he has to do.

As soon as the runway is extended there is a budget carrier keen to fly to Guernsey and that ladies and gentleman can only be good for Guernsey.

GM

Simon V

Right - so let's base the best TV advertising campaign on the bathing pools and the tourist train. Yep - that will get them flocking in. Mind you, it's probably another £50k to add to your existing "billions" invested in our tourism industry.

There isn't a budget carrier keen to come to Guernsey. I'm reliably informed that Easyjet only looked into it as part of their market research process. There is absolutely no business case for a runway extension. It would be £30m poured straight down the drain.

Insider

and even if EJ came here and ran the LGW route, would they provide a service 364 days of the year like the current operator does or would they cream off the summer profit and then use the LGW slot to fly off to sunnier climates in the winter leaving the taxpayer to cover increasing Aurigny losses?

Simon V

GM there is a budget airline ready to fly here as soon as the runway allows it fact.

Insider yep year round and ready to start when Guernsey is.

I think I've said all I need to so won't post anymore on this thread.

Thank you all or your engagement I've found it most helpful.

GM

Simon V (aka the man who claims that billions of £ is already invested in Guernsey's tourism industry)

Sorry but I don't believe you one iota about a budget airline being ready to come here. Nothing in your posts is remotely credible. And even in the most unlikely event that one was actually prepared to fly here, the negative impact on our key all year-round service would be unthinkable.

It really doesn't surprise me that you are ducking out of posting any further on this thread. However, it is far now to late to salvage your credibility.

Where's your breakdown of the £ billions already invested? I really would love to see that. But don't worry, I'll remind you of it next time you post.

Insider

Simon, you say "A longer runway will provide lower fares for Islanders to enjoy and we might well see growth in the population over the next 20 years", but still provide no evidence to back this up. Seems you want £30m spent and hope EJ come here?

Insider

Simon, "As soon as the runway is extended there is a budget carrier keen to fly to Guernsey and that ladies and gentleman can only be good for Guernsey." is this guaranteed and is it a 364 days of the year service?

Beanjar

Ryanair? Good for Guernsey? Instead of Aurigny? That is a joke, right?

Alvin

Final words... Now consider this...

Supporters of a runway extension up to 1700 metres claim that new airlines will come in, with more passengers and lower fares.

But they have not produced a single shred of evidence to back up their claims. They are basing their arguments purely on the example of Jersey Airport which has a 1700 metre runway and Easyjet operating various routes using the Airbus A319.

They are ignoring the facts that the market for travel to/from Jersey is double that of Guernsey, ( Jersey has over 60 % more population and over twice the number of tourist beds ). They are ignoring the fact that Jersey Airport offers financial incentives to Easyjet. They are ignoring the fact that Guernsey has its own airline which guarantees route stability throughout the year and, although losing 2 or 3 million quid every year, employees a large number of local staff and contributes to the local economy of millions of pounds every year in landing fees, insurance contributions, salaries etc - an amount far greater than what Easyjet contributes to Jersey.

And they are ignoring the fact that Easyjet does not want to come to Guernsey !!

During the summer of 2013, Easyjet were evaluating the possibility of launching a route to Guernsey... notably the Gatwick - Guernsey route. And only the Gatwick - Guernsey route. Afterall, that was the only route, apart from Southampton and Jersey, that offered a potential demand for air-travel of over 100 thousand passengers per year. Indeed, demand was three times greater than that and one airline, Flybe, was pulling out so Easyjet knew damn well that they could be on to a winner.

Easyjet did not suddenly discover the runway had shrunk and was now too short for their aircraft. On the contrary, they undertook a full site assessment which, according to the airport's management, was passed. They withdrew from applying for that route because T & R suddenly threatened to safeguard or protect Aurigny by blocking any other airlines from applying to operate on the Gatwick - Guernsey route.

So basically, it matters not if the runway stays the same as now or is extended all the way to Pleinmont. Easyjet are not coming. As it is, according also to the management of the airport, the current runway can accommodate Airbus 320s on medium haul routes if the payload is somewhat restricted. Medium haul routes - not short haul routes such as Guernsey-Gatwick. On short haul routes it would appear therefore that there would be only minimal weight restrictions, if any. Incidentally, the smaller A319 requires a slightly greater take-off distance than the larger and heavier A320.

The sources for the above mentioned information can be easily found on the airport.gg website and the Strategic Airlinks Report.

Having said all that.... do the supporters of extending the runway to 1700 metres still want to throw away 30 million quid ??

Sofa King

This island is dying a slow death,10 years ago people with average skills earned above average money,everyone was in a comfort zone and rarely discussed sog or cs since the financial crisis of 2008 and the slow removal of some financial back offices to jurisdictions with similar people with average skills but at a lower cost the island is seeing its tax revenue dwindle.

People now are finding life a bit tougher and the sog and cs are easy targets, how about looking closer to home and how about being more creative,or is sitting with your heads in the sand and moaning the answer?

The island needs a alternative to finance whether it be a reduced finance sector or at the worse no finance(then will you have reason to moan) Tourism look like one of few options available and there is a need to invest in the infrastructure of the island and to get sea and air links which actually engage people and provide a reliable service.

Id go for a longer runway combined with investment in tourism,lots of local companies would benefit from a influx of people with pound sin their pockets,or is the alternative so sit in denial and going on about Jersey and its higher population and more beds.

The alternative seems to be just waiting for the inevitable to happen as more finance houses move their staff to places with lower overheads and better transport via air and sea.

Heads in the sand for 10 years,imagine what it will be like in another 10 if nothing changes.

I think Simon V takes a lot of stick probably because he has a vested interest in tourism,however he and his family have invested a lot of money in guernsey plc maybe its time to give them a break with some assistance on tax breaks and a active tourism plan.

Beanjar

Since Simon V seems to be the main proponent for this mad vanity project it is a shame he has no calm, reasoned, arguments in support of it. He (and the idiot Dep. Kuttelwascher) seriously expects Guernsey to fling £30 MILLION plus at this in the vague hope that it will magically lead to lower fares and more tourists. That is not a plan, or a strategy - it is nothing but a pipe dream.

He claims, with partial justification, that Condor and Aurigny are terrible. Yet, ask him if this therefore deters people from staying and he says no, he is full with many arriving by private planes or yachts! Presumably this is because they can't afford the Aurigny airfares (which according to him are now £1000 return!). Of course, these are the same posh folk who will be thrilled by a (maybe) slightly cheaper flight on Ryanair or EasyJet! Absurd doesn't even start to describe his logic.

No reply when you ask him if the fares would still be cheap once they have bankrupted Aurigny. Does he think these airlines offer cheap fares because they are philanthropists? Obviously, they will charge as much as is commercially possible - no ceiling once they hold the monopoly. Fewer flights too, more cancellations to consolidate half empty flights, ruthless commercialism.

I'm beginning to think Simon V's wealth must be inherited, there is little evidence of any business acumen. This idea is mental, not only should the States not do it, they shouldn't even waste our money looking into it. Get on with your jobs and do them better - there is no magic wand!

paulegsy

I have read with great interest all the posts on this forum, some posts are semi factual, others are not, some are from the heart and some are just uninformed nonsense.

Business and the ability to do business in this cut throat world we live in is essential.

Without commerce and trade the seat of government will begin to falter, roughly translated into loss of jobs, business moving off the Island, property prices falling in a spiral which will see people wanting to leave and never to return, schools will close etc etc

It is in your own hands to make sure business of all kinds can continue to grow, you cannot rely on the banking sector forever.

One of the main stays of any business regardless of tourism, is the ability to come and go by sea or air, you have already seen what a disaster the sea links have become, do you really want to risk the above by not improving to the highest possible standard in air links?

In the grand scheme of things £30 million is not a massive risk, in all business you have to speculate to accumulate and burying your heads in the sand in the misconception that someone somewhere will save you is just pure nonsense.

Simon V and Sofa King in my opinion got the right attitude and hopefully the States of Guernsey will support people like them and make the plans a reallity.

As i have also said before, there needs to be a major shake up of the way Guernsey is portrayed for both Tourism and Business, you have to recruit the right people for the jobs in order to reap what they sow.

As regards Low cost airlines, yes it would be good to have one operate into Guernsey,competition never hurt anyone. But more european air links can be sought out and bring more visitors from the continent.

A320 aircraft are perfect for this job enabling operators to provide seats at competitive prices.

Smaller Airlines with small aircraft will never be able to compete against larger operators fact.

You must bite the bullet and see this project though, otherwise face the consequences.

Beanjar

"... competition never hurt anyone" Not so. If two or more airlines compete when there is not enough business for both, obviously one will stop losing money by closing. So where does that leave us? Deep in the cack!

jjlehto

"... competition never hurt anyone"

Not sure the Isle of Man would agree with this statement.

If we want to increase tourism, instead of building the runway first, why don't we instruct Aurigny to reduce their fares massively first and see what happens. Then if leisure travel increases, we can get some more bed capacity. And then, if all this proves to work, then we should think about a bigger runway. It would be much better than gambling 30mio on an extended runway right away. Plus it can be started tomorrow.

paulegsy

Perhaps you did not read my post carefully enough, you cannot bring down fares with small aircraft it is not financially viable, this is why all the low cost operators use B737-800 or Airbus A320 aircraft, these aircraft can accommodate 160 and 150 pax respectively, not 80 as in Aurignys ATRs

jjlehto

@ paulegsy

Who said anything about financially viable? Easyjet to Jersey isn't currently financially viable.

My suggestion would be for us to further subsidise Aurigny to allow them to have lower fares.

Beanjar

I understood you perfectly, and agree. However, prior to throwing vast sums away, wouldn't it be sensible to have some proper market research carried out? I would be amazed if £10 on or off a plane fare is keeping visitors away. Not enough decent visitor attractions would be my guess. Compared to Jersey, Isle of Man or even Guernsey 20 years ago we are looking like Dead Man's Gulch.

jjlehto

@ Beanjar

Yes, very sensible suggestion. I too suspect cheaper flights would not make much difference, but I doubt our EasyJet fan club would believe the research.

Alvin

Paul... not so !

How come Flybe offers fares as low as £24.99 between Newquay and Gatwick using a Dash 8 - 400 with far less seats than Aurigny's 122 seater Embraer 195 ??

The flight duration is slightly longer than from Guernsey, both airlines have the monopoly on their respective routes, and yet Aurigny's lowest fare is £49.00 ( £39.00 at certain times if one can find a "GRABIT" promotion ).

I know you know the answer because you are much better informed, it appears, in aviation matters than Simon or Progress - though I am disappointed to see you still seem to fall for the misguided "Build it and they will come" concept.

Sofa King

Alvin

They can do that because its a small part of a bigger picture within the company

Simple really

paulegsy

Alvin

The fares they quote are for a tiny portion of the seats available (try booking one and you will see that the return is significantly higher!), they do this to attract the customer, as once on line if the customer cannot get the cheap fare he will proceed with another higher fare, I'm afraid it all part of marketing.

As for you last comment, well I am sorry that I do not comply with your rationale, but I do believe that my thinking is on the right line (well I would wouldnt I ? LOL)

But seriously,in many instances through out the previous decades in Aviation history this concept has been used and proven to be right.... so long as the other basic essentials are in place , such as adequate hotel rooms available and of course reason to go to this place.

As you know, Guernsey must not now think if we do that it will be ok, it will need a concerted effort by ALL the departments and a brand new marketing dept to make the Island attractive to the traveller again.

Simon V

Alvin Lastpost

Flybe I believe only make profit on 30% of their flights they operate the rest are covered by subsidies and the profit from other routes.

Your knowledge of aviation astounds me and its come on in leaps and bounds since you joined the Airfix club !

Browndog

Simon, where on earth did you come up with that figure? If they were only making money on 30% of their flights surely they wouldn't be expanding like they are? As proven with the Bournemouth base, if it's loss making they cut it.

As far as I'm aware they only have one subsidised route and that's the Gatwick to Newquay route

Simon V

Browndog *30% of their routes sorry

From an informed source close to Flybe boss

£8.5 m profit though per annum

Alvin

Yes Paul... the cheapest seats are selling fast - when I look now for August and September there are much less seats now available at that price - but then that is the same everywhere no ? That fare can also be found in the reverse direction. There are not many 49 quid one way fares left between Guernsey and Gatwick during that period - basically the cheapest fares are 25 quid each way cheaper than the Guernsey fares - even though there is a much larger aircraft on the Guernsey route and the flight is of a shorter duration. Easyjet apply the same procedure that LGW-JER flights are more expensive than JER-LGW which is why Simon always quotes his EJ fares FROM Jersey and not to,

Only Browndog got the correct answer.... the Newquay - Gatwick flight is subsidised.

I agree Paul, that in theory larger aircraft should mean lower fares, ( though less flights ), but in reality it does not. The fares have gone up since the larger EJ195 started operations on the Gatwick route.

As for poor Simon, even if my aviation modelling was limited to Airfix models, it still appears to be far greater than his ! We are still waiting to know the name of this imaginary airline that will start operations to Guernsey if the runway is lengthened.

Alvin

Sorry... typed the last paragraph wrong... should have been "...even if my aviation knowledge was limited to Airfix models"

Blame it on Simon - he comes out with such nonsense with regards to the runway that I can't concentrate properly as I am p***ing myself from laughing so much !

paulegsy

Beanjar, absolutely right re attractions and places to visit.

Also agree on the £10 it would not make any difference at all.

jjlehto, you cannot order Aurigny to lower fares and thereby increase the subsidy, that is not going to achieve anything.

Aurigny already has domination on all but the Southampton route, would have been better off asking Jet2 to run to Guernsey from Leeds, they use B737-300.

Small aircraft mean higher fares, larger aircraft lower fares its simple economics

jjlehto

Why can't we order Aurigny to have lower fares? We already impose pricing constraints on them.

mash

Ok £30,000,000.00 is not a lot when we still have £200,000,000.00 to spend

But what will the additional visitors do in Guernsey where will they stay how are we going to make Guernsey in to a affordable destination

Lets have some plans are we going to encourage more Hotels to be built are we going to encourage better links with France

Are we going to plan for the future or just spend, spend ,spend with no coherent plan

What happened to the plan to re develop the Idlerocks if we want to encourage people to come to Guernsey we have to have something to offer more beds would be a start