Airline boss rejects £30m. spend on longer runway

PLANS to get a runway extension built in the next three years have been labelled a ‘worrying failure to understand the contra-implication far beyond a £30m. piece of Tarmac’, by one airline boss.


In a stinging rebuke to Economic Development Committee vice-president Jan Kuttelwascher’s move for the extension, Blue Islands managing director Rob Veron questioned the intentions of the move.

‘The States of Guernsey owns Guernsey Airport, has its own airline, Aurigny, it has direct responsibility for tourism within the Committee for Economic Development and controls air links through its licensing panel,’ he said.

‘Where else has such control over an industry, yet continues to naively waste money de-stabilising its own investments and those of another locally owned and committed operator?

‘The stakeholder objectives for these various entities need to be aligned if there is to be a net gain to Guernsey PLC.

‘Deputy Kuttelwascher hopes a runway extension would lead to a low cost carrier operating in Guernsey, but is there actually any interest?’

Jets are inefficient on short regional services, he said, and a low cost carrier’s business model requires high volumes and big demographics, which is at odds to what Guernsey can provide.

London Gatwick would be the ‘obvious choice’ for any low cost carrier to attempt, Mr Veron said, which would have a knock-on effect on Aurigny, and by implication, the States.

It would be better to try to fill existing seats.

Comments for: "Airline boss rejects £30m. spend on longer runway"


yep! I have to agree with R


Perhaps the department should prioritise getting a better deal for the island from the newly minted monopoly operator of the Jersey and Southampton routes...


Blimey someone actually talking common sense and something even Joe Public has worked out


So Easyjet into Jersey have got it wrong then !!

Jets are inefficient on short regional services, he said, and a low cost carrier’s business model requires high volumes and big demographics, which is at odds to what Guernsey can provide.


guern abroad

Jersey has 40% more people at least 3x more beds jersey has much more scale.


Jersey also didn't buy an airline, then spend a further £30m in order to bankrupt it.


EJ are currently providing very cheap seats.. I doubt that will last as they are likely to be making a loss as they battle with other operators to force one off that route.

guern abroad

I agree with Rob Veron. There is so much more that could be done right now with what we have already to maximise passenger numbers.


Well....he obviously cant fill his own seats!


Why does he need to fill the seats?

CHEAPEST, no-frills Southampton full day returns next week:

Monday - No Seats back

Tuesday - £329.99

Wednesday - £212.49

Thursday - £242.49

Friday - £212.49


So the million dollar question is, has anyone contacted the likes of Easyjet, Jet2 etc, i.e. the ones that are currently flying 'inefficient jets on short regional services' to Jersey to see if they would fly into Guernsey.

If there is interest then simple investigate the contract and terms, weigh the benefits against the cost to extend the runway then make a decision.

Common sense

Of course the cost implications are more than the £30,000,000, it will effectively make Aurigny unable to pay back the £45,000,000 it has been granted from the £330,000,000 loan.

Bill to the tax payer £75,000,000 for this project before any overspend.

The Lone Ranger

Anyone brave enough to admit voting for Kuttelwascher? We need deputies of that caliber like we need a pain in the neck. My last fiver says St Pier will offload 10% of that Bond that's burning a hole in his pocket. Happy days for the fools attempting to waste our money.

Sofa King

No vested interest then Rob

A decent company will blow you guys out of the water so to speak

Bring it on

Young Local

Thought a couple years ago Blue Islands and Flybe were both campaigning to get the runway extended? What's changed now?


Actually not. In the York Aviation Report of 2009 the actual airlines who were using the airport all stated that the length was sufficient but Flybe stressed they needed the runway strengthened in order to operate their Embraer 195s.

In the Strategic Air Links report of last year yet again the airlines all confirmed that the runway was long enough.

As it transpired, Flybe did not use their 195s but the smaller 170s and eventually pulled out of the Gatwick route. But at least Aurigny were then able to safely use their new 195 as the runway had been strengthened.


This is the same mistake the States made in the first place. If you ask the incumbent airlines of course they won't support anything that might bring in real competition.

The States need to be talking to the short haul airlines to gauge interest in operating into here.

The one fact we can be sure of is that without a runway extension they will not come.

Simon V

Otherwise known as "Blow you Jack, I'm alright "

Surprised Roffey got suckered into this ,he really should know better !


Much as I like the idea of competition, I really don't think there is enough business for moreplayers. All we would achieve is Aurigny losing even more money or getting given away, including all the money we've put into it.


Bottom line since Flybe and Blue Island joined up the fares have increased so much it is just ridiculous.

Rob should take a look at his out of date aircraft and the crazy prices being charged for a 30 minute flight to Southampton.

I used to fly a lot but its just too pricey.

I have to go on the other marvellous transport link called the Liberation.

At least Blue Island & Condor have something in common.


They are queueing up to take over our morning slots to guernsey in February and give us direct flights to dubai- if only we had a 3km runway----not.

Like most small islands we must protect our transport links. Unfortunately, this may cost us some money and it may be helpful to spread this across the whole population over the whole year. Like it or not, we all benefit from the protection of economic activity on the island

A possible effective idea would be to use Jersey as a local hub for the near continent if more effort were put in to the Jersey's Guernsey route.


Although I agree that it is futile to extend the runway now and would be a complete waste of money, Mr Veron should really have kept a low profile. Talk about scoring an own goal !

People will be asking him why the lowest fare from Jersey to London City ( probably one of Europe's most expensive airports to fly to ) costs as little as £39.99 whilst the lowest fare from Jersey to Guernsey is............ £39.99 !!

Incidentally... Flybe's lowest fare from Newquay to Gatwick is only £24.99 !


"It would be better to try to fill existing seats". Of course it would. But since you sold your soul to Fly(may)be and the price from Southampton has since TRIPLED (I'm sure you'll say it's purely a coincidece) then there's no chance of that happening.

By this time last year I had visited Guernsey 5 times for a long (Thursday to Tuesday) weekend spending approx. £500 per visit in local shops, bars & restaurants (I'm lucky in that I have friends I over there I stay with). But so far this year I've only visited twice - which is soley down to the cost of YOUR airlines flights, Mr. Veron.

It's only those who are terrified of the potential competition who are saying 'nay' to this idea. Again - is this a coincidence? Guernsey should be open to any ideas which increase tourism, however lining your own pockets by creating a monopoly on the routes shouldn't be one of them.....

PS. I think the best thing anyone proposing the extension of the runway in Guernsey could - & should - do is to speak to prospective airlines & destination airports/tourism bosses about the viability of them actually flying to GCI as this would enhance their chances of it happening.

Seasonal flights to and from places like Newcastle, Glasgow/Edinburgh, Belfast, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, etc. could make a huge difference not only to the island itself - but to islanders themselves who would be able to visit those wonderful places.....

Devil's Advocate

"Seasonal flights to and from places like Newcastle, Glasgow/Edinburgh, Belfast, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, etc. could make a huge difference not only to the island itself - but to islanders themselves who would be able to visit those wonderful places...."

This is by far the best way to go - bring in more tourists without cannibalising the existing routes. I doubt many of the tourists on the weekly Air Berlin flights would attempt to visit the island if those flights didn't exist.

Trevor Hockey

We had family over last weekend from Southampton, some had booked Blue Islands and did not pay for bags, some with Fly(may)be who had to pay. Inbound flight four hours late due to crew sickness and no duty frees on board.

They spent £1,000 in a local hotel, The Yacht which they liked and £355 for a meal at the Old Quarter Restaurant which also found favour. Plus of course other bits of shopping, bus journeys etc. means they helped the local economy. Would they come back.? Well, their outbound flight was cancelled due to fog so they had an extra night here, the weather was not great so in reality were it not for family connections the answer is probably no.

As Southampton has reverted to what is effectively a monopoly situation, it is time we allowed Aurigny, our local airline to fly there direct rather than through Alderney.

guern abroad

Or even a round route, Guernsey, Alderney, Southampton, Guernsey.