P&R review into island’s expectations for Aurigny

A WIDE-RANGING review of Aurigny services is being launched by the States’ senior committee.

aurignydornier_900
Picture by Mike Stedman

While the need for a review was established by Policy & Resources in May, there has been weeks of unrest over the island’s air travel, including prolonged and growing criticism over the States-owned airline’s Alderney service.

Recently P&R president Gavin St Pier said consideration had been given to the concept of a ‘public service obligation’ service for Alderney and this could provide an opportunity for an operator to rival Aurigny for the contract.

The new review will address long-term policy and economic aims for the States-owned airline as a whole, as well as short-term action to enhance how it supports ‘business development’.

As well as the tensions in Alderney, concerns were also raised earlier this year when Aurigny pulled out of the Jersey route, following the joint decision with Blue Islands to end the inter-island code-share agreement.

Policy & Resources vice-president Lyndon Trott, who will lead the review, said that, as shareholder, the States of Guernsey must be very clear on what its expectations were for Aurigny.

‘For example, as a Bailiwick do we want Aurigny’s focus to be on ensuring it is a commercially viable company, or does it best serve our community by being an economic enabler regardless of profitability?

‘That strategic direction is essential,’ he said. ‘We have liaised with Aurigny in recent months and its management is supportive of the review and committed to working with the States of Guernsey to ensure air link services meet the needs of our community, both now and in the future.’

Comments for: "P&R review into island’s expectations for Aurigny"

CMB

Do they know where the airport is?

Why

It should be both commercially viable and serve our community.

Do we need a route to Barcelona? Leeds? Norwich?

What about what will soon become four routes to London? Luton and Stansted are pointless, focus on Gatwick.

Is City really needed or is it just to keep finance happy?

Focus on the core routes - Gatwick, Manchester, Dinard, Alderney and keep the occasional routes such as East Midlands and Bristol. If Blue Islands continue to get it wrong look into operating Southampton and Jersey again.

Atlast

Why, Alderney will never have a commercially viable service. Subsidy, subsidy, subsidy I'm afraid.

Island_Ranger

It doesn't have to be commercially viable, it is economically essential. Unless they want to stump up for a regular ferry + A&E airlift service instead - (which would still likely destroy the current economy of Alderney due to lack of fast and ready access to the island) - then maintaining a half decent air service to Alderney is the only option they have.

NigelP

Guernsey has responsibility for Alderney which it is not really undertaking at present.

I think Why was meaning that some of Aurigny's routes should be a community undertaking, e.g. Alderney, and the others should be profitable.

Why have Aurigny not restarted routes to Jersey? There seems to be a need for a reliable service Guernsey to Jersey as Flybe/Blue Islands is regularly cancelled or delayed.

Wrangler

And Aurigny's reliability performance over the past fortnight has been good?

Chis

Why - Why are Barcelona, Norwich and Leeds Bradford any less relevant than Dinard, East Midlands, Manchester or Bristol?

Why

They don't necessarily, but you can get to Norwich and Leeds quite easily from routes that are already in operation.

Barcelona - the amount of overtime this is costing must be ridiculous, does it break even? If there's a demand for direct flights to other European cities this should be through charters by travel agencies, not a state-run airline.

Norwich - it takes about an hour and a half to get there from Stansted

Leeds - it takes just over an hour to get there from Manchester

Aurigny needs to focus on its core routes, it has the monopoly on the entire greater London area - how they're not breaking even is because of all these extra routes - cut the routes that aren't at near full capacity.

Obviously Alderney needs to be kept and a link to France ought be kept too. The smaller airports in the Normandy/Brittany area makes sense with the type of aircraft Aurigny operates. Before Blue Islands the Alderney, Jersey, Dinard, Southampton routes worked incredibly well using the Trislanders - very much like getting a bus.

tothevale

We are in a very strange place. VisitGuernsey seems to be suggesting today that pax figures being down have something to do with Brexit. Really? Just after Brexit the same VG were trumpeting it as a possible lift for the Island in terms of staycations.

I'm particularly worried, as you all should be, that in today's Guernsey Press the same VG have reported the 18% downturn in sea traffic but don't appear to proportion any blame. Anyone in the trade will know exactly what the problem this year - the Condor effect from last year.

How on earth does this kind of press release rubbish get past the Board? Are the all on holiday? Hold on a minute.....

This was a completely predictable downturn in business due to the shambles that was Liberation last year.

Moving on to the flights. and I won't pretend to understand what kind of aircraft we are suppsoed to have or have not, nor what category our airfield should or shouldn't be. What I'm quite sure of is competition broke the Guernsey/Jersey route.

We had a perfectly serviceable route between the Islands. Local travellers were happy, business was happy - everything was working well when Aurigny was the sole operator.

It appears to me anyway - that the pressure to licence and create 'competition' for BI is when it all started going wrong. Make no mistake we are losing business right now because of our transport links. Our transport links need the full focus of our Government. Full focus.

Island Wide Voting

As President of the Transport and Licensing Authority I'm sure that Barry Paint will be giving it his all in the next four years

Trevor Hockey

Agreed Neil and we must not forget exactly how much our visitors spend, probably £500 per person, perhaps much more and yet we are concentrating on the cruise boats. I really don't think this Mike Hopkins bloke is up to the job, all we seem to have had is some very confusing adverts on second rate channels.

Simon V

markB

Don't bother Simon V we all know what you are going to say.

Q

Surely it would be much more sensible to concentrate efforts on new/better links to major international airports in continental Europe such as Brussels Charleroi, Frankfurt Hahn, Amsterdam Schipol, and Paris CDG.

This would not only help entice a MUCH larger potential market of visitors, but will also give locals the opportunity for much more in the way of European and intercontinental flights, many of which are operated by cheap airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet.

If the island is to revive the tourism business, and enhance connectivity, it's time to think "outside the box".

futulas_dog

REALLY, Q…?!

With the errr, 'current situation' in Europe…?

Do you remember what happened in Brussels airport not all that long ago…?

Thanks but no thanks for that suggestion.

Q

FD - your comment is short-sighted in my opinion, and what's not to say that the "current situation in Europe" will not happen in the UK in the near future?

All I am saying is that P&R need to open their eyes as to other possibilities, rather than restrict their primary attention on travel to/from the UK.

There's a big world out there, and a huge potential market of travellers which can be tapped into. The island needs to consider where to attract tourism/business/money from, as the long-term outlook for the island otherwise does not look favourable.

The island needs to move with the times when considering connectivity, and start thinking more "global" as a long-term strategy. This is the world we now live in. and one of the primary reasons why the island is losing business to the likes of Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore (as reported only earlier this week).

Island_Ranger

You can only "think outside the box" as long as there is a box to think outside of.

We can't even sustain links between the few miles of water separating our islands; I think we need to think "inside the box" for the time being.

Why

Sure, but this shouldn't be the objective of Aurigny.

If there's profit to be made another airline would be doing it. International flights usually work out more expensive from Paris/Amsterdam because of the exchange rate.

The best way to get cheaper flights internationally is to book a BA or oneworld flight starting in Jersey as the APD will be removed.

Island_Ranger

Continuing to try and run Aurigny as a commercially viable business will kill it. It is, and always has been, an economic driver which elevates the Bailiwicks into viable financial centers, tourism destinations and thriving communities. Looking at the bottom line of your bus service does not tell you how much that service contributes to your town centre.

DM

Look at what could be raised by charging for parking in St Peter Port. The decision to forgo that million or two is presumably to ensure the town is kept busy?

Island_Ranger

Precisely. There seems to be an inability to consider the wider picture, and it's gotten much worse since the emphasis was put on "breaking even" with Aurigny. Everyone is staring at the bottom line instead of the clouds gathering up above (no puns intended)

thames

Talk about "behind the curve"! Why do they need a review? Surely there should be robust ongoing monitoring of the situation given the importance of good and reasonably priced transport links from an island?

tothevale

You make a good point. When Condor posted the 22% downturn in sea traffic in May/June this year there was virtual silence from our politicians - surely that would have been a trigger for something surely?

And on to flights - most of our top politicians mix with financial types - you would have thought the ongoing murmerings of costs and scheduling would have got someone thinking.

Again, it takes the public to see it all coming.

thames

Totally agree Tothevale! Sadly they are asleep at the wheel- of course they know what the problems are without doing a "review". They should have empirical evidence collected on a day to day basis- it's not rocket science!