Runway longer than Jersey’s ‘ready by 2020’

GUERNSEY’S runway could be long enough to accommodate larger planes by 2020, and could even be longer than Jersey’s, if the States was to throw its support behind a lengthening project, Jan Kuttelwascher has said.

airberlin
Air Berlin has decided not to operate its weekly service from Dusseldorf and Stuttgart this summer after moving to Airbus aircraft rather than the Dash 8 it has used previously. (Picture by Dave Edmonds, 17357459)

The comments follow news that Guernsey has lost its summer Air Berlin services to Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, because the operator has moved to using larger Airbus aircraft.

Deputy Kuttelwascher, who has been campaigning for the runway to be lengthened, said that the island was making a false economy by subsidising Aurigny instead.

A lengthening project is in the pipeline for the capital prioritisation debate this summer.

Deputy Kuttelwascher estimated that lengthening the runway to 1,720m and increasing the safety area across La Villiaze Road could cost about £30m.

He was optimistic that politicians would get behind the idea.

‘I think there is some momentum towards it,’ he said.

He said if the States approved the scheme this summer, a business case could be in place by the end of 2017, with work then taking a couple of years.

Comments for: "Runway longer than Jersey’s ‘ready by 2020’"

Fermain

This is becoming an absolute no-brainer... wish they would get on with it!

Insider

Based on what evidence?

LisaV

So, no money to spend on building a decent school complex, but enough to spend on an unneeded runway extension?

Can I suggest that before extending the runway that we actually make sure that there is something that people want to come and visit? Tourism is down and that is nothing to do with the length of the runway. A visit to Guernsey is too expensive for the average family holiday and there is little to do when they get here. Beautiful views are no longer enough, especially when you can go much further afield, with far more to do, for half the price.

So, before you starting splashing the cash on the runway can you please make sure that there is demand for larger aircraft?

Fermain

LisaV - you have answered your own question: price matters for tourists, which is why we need a

run way that can take the planes that deliver low cost economics to operators such as Air Berlin.

The question is whether we want to gradually manage our tourism industry out of existence (through a continuation of the status quo) or do something to grow it?

Alvin

Very sorry but you are mistaken with regards to Air Berlin... they are keeping 18 ( of 20 ) Dash 8-402 aircraft - the real truth is that they have cut half their routes because they have lost some many hundreds of millions of Euros each of the past three years.

Fermain

I am not mistaken - please re-read the words I wrote.

Alvin

Sorry Fermain... but you are. Air Berlin have cut out half of their destinations - but not some of the routes operated by their smaller aircraft. They have no need to operate larger aircraft on their Germany-Guernsey routes because they simply do not have the demand for them. Jersey - which can take their larger aircraft - has also lost their direct Air Berlin flights to and from Germany.

Fermain

Alvin,

The point I make above is that the larger planes which have better operator economics require the longer runway: You are not addressing this point, but making a different one.

Your comments about demand are presumptive - I did not comment on demand because I do not know how the size of market will develop over the next 50 years - do you?

Alvin

True, Fermain, I do not know how the size of the market will develop over the next five let alone fifty years. Airlines like Air Berlin and Flybe throw spanners in the works when they decide to withdraw from destinations as they re-configure themselves. Easyjet too are famous for it.

But small regional airports and regional aircraft will be around for decades as they have been in the past and they are in the present. The article mentions that Stuttgart will lean away from accepting smaller aircraft - this is simply not true. There are exactly 34 flights due to arrive today at Stuttgart using aircraft that can use Guernsey Airport - from the Embraer 195 down to small Beechcraft and Jetstream twins. This is because the demand is there and always will be.

The difference is that the larger jets can serve the budget tourist destinations better as they can offer the really cheap flights to the masses. This is not the market for Guernsey Tourism - but the market for Guernsey Tourism can be served and can expand using those very same smaller regional aircraft. There is currently demand for an ATR to be filled on a weekly basis in the summer between Dusseldorf and Guernsey - but probably not Stuttgart on top of that. If demand increases then add a Wednesday weekly flight as well or swap the ATR with the Embraer. Then add more destinations.

When the ATRs and Embraers become obsolete then new smaller aircraft will come onto to the market, such as the Bombadier C Series.

At present the only route that really justifies the Airbuses year round is the Gatwick route. And I think that situation will be the same for the next ten years or so.

LisaV

A larger runway may have the capacity to take the larger aircraft and yes in turn that could lead to lower flight prices. However, not one person has answered which airlines have said that they will come to Guernsey if the runway was longer. There is still nothing to attract the large numbers of passengers that these aircraft can carry. No airline will send a large craft if it is constantly going to have a large number of empty seats, it's not economically viable for their business.

Get the demand by improving attraction. Then think about extending the runway.

GuernToTheDogs

Shut up, just shut up. You lost your chance the opportunity has gone. I wish they would stop going on about this. I don't believe the public wants this but if it really does have to come up again, then it should go to public referendum and let the public decide. It is OUR money after all.

Alvin

I strongly urge everyone to read this article in full in the printed version of the Press.

In it, if the claims made can correctly be attributed to the persons named, there is a serious gross distortion of the truth in order to mislead the States into wasting millions on an unnecessary extension of the runway.

The claim that Air Berlin is pulling out of Guernsey because "the operator has moved to using larger Airbus aircraft" is blatantly incorrect !

Air Berlin has been losing hundreds of millions of Euros for each of the past three years and last year started on a major restructuring which will see the number of destinations it serves basically cut in half, ( from about 140 to 70 ), with the fleet based on just three types, one of which is the Dash 8-402, the type of 76 seat aircraft that was used on the Guernsey routes, of which 18 will be retained, as confirmed by Air Berlin in their document titled "The New Air Berlin".

In the full article, it is claimed that Stuttgart Airport is not keen on smaller aircraft types - but there is absolutely no evidence to back up that claim as Stuttgart will continue to see small aircraft flights to various regional airports around Europe and even to London City, which has a runway length similar to Guernsey.

It is claimed that the States are looking to charter summer flights to Dusseldorf - but this should have been arranged weeks ago ! ITB Berlin is just four weeks away and that is the major travel marketing event in Europe - flights and packages should have been settled way before that ! Its been known that the Air Berlin flights would not continue next year since weeks and even months !

Furthermore, Marketing & Tourism can not tell how many passengers were on those flights - yet a quick glance at the CAA statistics page reveals that last year there were 2858 passengers on the Dusseldorf route and only 1818 on the Stuttgart route. Flights using the 76 seater plane were rarely fully sold out and averaged out over the whole season to about 52 seats sold per flight : how on earth will there be enough demand for an Airbus 319 with double that number of seating capacity, let alone the larger A320 !!??

Lastly, in the article it states that Tourism's figures in their third quarterly report in 2016 puts the number of visitors from Germany at 9100. ( Q4 figures are 9700 ). How reliable are these figures ? If they are reliable, then it means that the vast majority of German visitors are not coming on the Air Berlin flights anyway but must be coming by sea or through Jersey or the UK !

As a footnote, with Air Berlin's departure, the door is open for Aurigny to step in : they wanted to have more flights to the continent and if they concentrated just on Dusseldorf and not Stuttgart, a weekly ATR flight might actually make a small profit though the danger is that the lead time for marketing is now rather short... maybe for 2018 !?

Fermain

Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and the Q400/Dash 8 operator economics are all exceedingly interesting topics, but the real question here is whether failing to develop our critical infrastructure will stymie the development of the island's economy over the coming generations.

For such a long lived asset the cost is actually relatively small: over 50 years the economic and social loss in economy in FAILING to lengthen the runway may well be far greater than the capital cost of the project.

Kittycat

Well at least if it goes ahead and the tourism industry continues to fare as it has done, nobody will be able to blame the length of the runway! There's a broken record of a conversation I'll be happy to see the back of.

Kittycat

Can someone please clarify - if the runway extension goes ahead, can we be at least 75% sure that we'll be able to get budget airlines to fly here? If so, this would be a good time for a couple of budget hotels to open to go with the budget air fares. It's the hotel prices that are really prohibitive, in my opinion.

Alvin

No. We can only be 0 % sure that a budget airline will come in.

Easyjet wanted to come in on the Gatwick route and without a runway extension but were basically put off by the protectionist stance taken at the time by T & R, ( which included Deputy Kuttelwascher ).

Ryan Air and Norwegian use the B737-800 which can not operate into Jersey. Jet2 will eventually shift from the smaller B737s and their Airbuses to the B737-800s. Vueling, Pegasus, Eurowings etc etc serve countries that simply do not have sufficient demand for a flight to Guernsey.

Common sense

Kuttelwascher has either glossed over the fact that the runway alone will cost between £30-40,000,000 (without the interest that would have to be paid on the loan) to fund it'and if a low cost airline did set up, Aurigny would not be able to compete and would go under costing the states the £40,000,000 (plus interest) on the money from GSPs loan they have already lent the airline and any value of any assets the states owned organisation has.

Insider

EJ were only interested in offering a seasonal route to LGW and leave Aurigny to provide a service for the rest of the year..

markB

what's the point of having 200-300 passengers a day turning up and no hotel rooms available to put them in, even Simon Vermeulen admitted last year that his hotel was fully booked so they can't stay there.

Trevor Hockey

markB

Sydney Vane house site at Admiral Park would make a great location for a Premier Inn, within easy walking distance of Town, good bus links and a supermarket on the doorstep as well.

Just what we really need, a reliable standard at an affordable family price.

Young Local

Thought this is likely to happen with the new comprop development at Admiral Park? Or was that just speculation?

Devil's Advocate

Developers won't build hotels when they can build housing or offices for the same money and sell them for more profit. That is the problem with this island, only developers can afford to buy and develop land, and their only aim is to make as much money as possible for themselves.

Common sense

Where is the money going to come from? As the islanders cannot afford this and GSPs loan would never be paid back if used for this project.

Kuttelwascher is behind this idea - not a great track record for business, Sunday trading has been a disaster as an attempt to raise revenue for the states.

Another deputy (social security) is stating that a percentage of islanders are in relative poverty how will taxing the populas further to fund this idea help.

How can you justify trying to expand the runway when you cannot fill the existing seats. A figure was given when this was first raised that 50,00 seats to gatwick are unsold each year)

Perhaps the deputies should be trying to sort out the real problem facing Guernsey the fact the public have to subsidise Aurigny to the tune of millions each year.

The public must also remember that the existing runoff has not been paid for and at this time has cost over £100,000,000.

Ferry Man

Is Deputy Kuttelwascher on a one-man mission to extend the runway and waste our money. Why does he think just by giving us a longer runway the world will come. There is a lot more than that to do.

To take the subsidy from Aurigny and plough it into a new runway project is suicide!!!!. At least we know if we have Aurigny we will be able to travel to the UK and back

Wings

Continuing to throw money at Aurigny will not stop the decline in the Island's air routes unless we are willing to subsidize it to the point where our fares become really competitive. Aurigny is a small airline operating multiple types which is a guaranteed recipe for high costs. Added to that it does not have the distribution channels that other larger airlines have to attract more passengers.

We are in a Catch 22 situation where the cost of travel to the Island is losing us business to our sister island and tourism is being strangled, both of which lead to less people travelling, which makes our air routes less economic to run.

We will never get the other airlines to fly here with the runway length we have now.

Alvin

There is no guarantee that a longer runway will bring new airlines, larger aircraft and/or more tourists. In fact, it is almost certain that it will not.

Chris

The management of Aurigny are against it because of the costs but the States should underwrite any losses on a code share.

A code share would likely bring more pax.

markB

Does this man have nothing better to do than go on and on about the runway.

Please can he tell us which companies: have or will agree to fly here if the runway was longer???

Alvin

That question keeps on being asked and not a single airline's name has been put forward.

Kittycat

Not impressed with the "bigger than Jersey's" part of this story, either.

The implication is that if we get it right then we can rival Jersey for tourism, when we simply can't - purely because they have roughly double the amount of hotel beds. Even if more people wanted to visit Guernsey and could more readily afford to do so, there's nowhere for them all to stay!

For that reason alone, Jersey will always have more visitors and a healthier tourism industry than we do. Ours can certainly improve, but there's no point getting peoples hopes up. Lets at least try to be realistic, eh?

Common sense

The only reason for stating it will be longer than Jersey's runway is to try and get support by playing on the rivalry between the islands.

markB

Oh I see.. a bit like "I've got a bigger one then you!!"

100% Carre.

Just because you have a big driveway and loads of parking doesn't mean you will have more visitors, if they don't want to visit they won't.

Loveridge

Come on GEP, ask Deputy Kuttelwascher which airlines have committed to flying to this island if our runway is lengthened?

It's really becoming a scratched record from him. Let's see a clear breakdown of the business case and financial justification before wasting yet more time and effort on this.

markB

Deputy Kuttelwascher, can you please give us all the names of the Airline companies you have contacted that are willing to come here.

CommonSenseIsDead

Yesterday I booked a 7 night trip away to Malta at the end of Feb for a grand total of £249.17. Of that cost, £74.75 was the holiday, £45 was a necessary overnight stay in the UK due to connecting flight times and £129.42 were flights GSY-UK-GSY.

Out of curiosity, I used the same dates to see how much someone flying to Guernsey (from the same airport for continuity's sake) would pay for a 7 night stay (using a hotel with identical star rating). The price was £335.52. Even if our runway ran the entire length of the South coast, would our English neighbours rather pay £75 or £335 for a holiday?

Chris

What, you sleeping rough in cardboard city? That's around £10 a night and that includes the flight. What are you smoking, I'd like some. hmmmm?

CommonSenseIsDead

Not at all, 3* hotel in St. Paul's Bay with all the expected amenities.

Major Denis Bloodnok

It does seem a bit unfair to say that Sunday Trading has not been a success. It was another contentious issue that went on and on and on. The world would end if Waitrose were allowed to open on a Sunday and you could buy a pair of socks at the Garden Centre on the Lord's day. As it is relaxing this issue has been a great success - no tidal waves, no earthquakes, no plagues of frogs, no divine retribution at all.

Similarly the length of the runway issue comes back over and over and over again. The plain fact is that no one can guarantee that new airlines with bigger aircraft will ever come here if the runway is lengthened. You can however be absolutely sure that airlines equipped with aircraft too big to land and take off here with a full load of passengers and their baggage on the hottest days (that would be in the summer) will never come here with the runway the length it is. That's most airlines - scheduled, charter and low cost airlines.

It is an infrastructure weakness that will eventually come back to haunt the island if it not addressed at some stage.

We have three airlines that fly here on a regular basis -

Blue Islands (Flybe franchise). On paper they give the island great connections to a great many places but if you drill down into the airline it flys to one place - Southampton directly from here. Since it achieved monopoly status on that route fares have risen to the direct detriment of the tax payer who pays for many hundreds of patient flights to there every year. Inter island flights have gone through the roof and all flights to just about anywhere operated by Blue Islands are via Jersey (Flights from here via Amsterdam to the rest of the world would be very attractive in avoiding UK taxes were it not for the fact that you have to pay to go to Jersey first which wipes out the saving). In addition of course Blue Islands operates what can only be described as geriatric aircraft.

Aurigny (Guernsey's flag carrier) does what it was purchased for in safeguarding the Gatwick route. It doesn't look after Alderney too well and makes a stonking loss every year. In other words if the tax payer can no longer afford to bail the airline out each year it's bound to cease operations. The tax payer has probably just about reached that stage.

Flybe (arguably the island's only remaining 'proper' carrier) only operates four flights a day to Birmingham and Exeter (triangular routes with Jersey) and less at the weekends. It has no aircraft based here and no longer has a crew base here or lounge.

Guernsey's air connections are thus tenuous at the very least at a time when sea connections are worse than they were when operated by the Great Western and Southern Railways.

To the uninitiated or disinterested this is A BAD THING. If or when one or all three of these airlines pull out, fail or go into liquidation Guernsey will be stuffed. Future triangular routes with Jersey which might offer some way forward in this event will not be possible if the airlines who might operate them use aircraft which cannot operate to here. We may well end up hanging on to Jersey's coat tails in the future but even that may not be possible with our diddy runway.

Occasional Donkey

Air Berlin absence nothing to do with runway length then. See link below.

http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/02/06/air-berlin-are-unlikely-to-fly-to-jersey-this-summer/

oldroyd

Extending the runway would be expensive and very disruptive so it would be a good idea that we were very sure that the expense would produce a return and personally find it difficult to see how it could be justified, the numbers just don't add up.

A318/319 can already operate from Guernsey as they do from London city, same length of runway, but would not be able to operate full fuel but have enough range for many routes so why is no one pushing to come but history would suggest that there just is not a market for more regular services into Europe, Blue Island and Aurigny cannot make it pay in ATRs and they are the most fuel efficient aircraft in the air.

Before we go off on another crazy project we would need solid evidence of interest from operators and at least a return of 10% on any investment.

Prospero

A no-brainer !

That is for certain - it would take a politician without a brain to go for this.

It is certainly an indication of the panic and desperation that is setting in at P&R.

Our economy is in decline, Trumpism and Brexit has dealt us the most perplexing difficult and uncertain economic conditions since 1945 .....and some of our supposed Great and Good want gamble on this lunacy.

At least gamble responsibly - but, hey - its only other people's money.

Come on Lefties ! safe us and vote against this runaway runway.

100% Donkey

Prospero

As you would have noted from another thread, I am somewhat further to the right than you.

But no matter where you are on the political spectrum, extending our runway is madness. Your points regarding Brexit's impact on our Finance Industry are well made. If any deputy thinks a longer runway will engulf the Island with cliff walkers, it just about sums them up.....

Nearly Local

Easy - Lets copy States of Jersey plan with EasyJet

1 Give Aurigny free landing slots

2 Give Aurigny money for marketing costs

Aurigny suddenly stops loosing money.

Make them find a way of reducing the models of planes in the fleet and possibly subside Blue Island to run the Alderney route and you have a profitable Airline that has the interests of Guernsey at heart.

Young Local

What I think people are missing is the fact that over the years we have slowly been losing our air links, a lot of the time due to not enough use, but also due to the length of the runway.

Many airlines have not started to fly here due to the length of the runway, but also due to the lack of the open skies policy which enables airlines to start up a route fairly quickly, rather than going through a lengthy potential 6 month application without guarantees on getting a licence to operate, something I think should be looked into with a matter of urgency. The cost of operating here is also higher than many places something I think they need to look into also.

Air Berlin pulling out is something that should be looked at as very worrying, here we are losing in excess of potentially 4500 passengers, visitors to this island. Some are saying that isn't much but in the grand scheme of things it is.

'Tourism is not big, so what is the point' - well the reason many tourists don't come here and hotels have closed down is likely mainly due to the cost of getting to the island, and also the lack of marketing done by VisitGuernsey, how many times before last year did we have a decent television commercial? Jersey is miles ahead of us, mainly due to them having spent a lot more on marketing, and spent a bit of money getting well known airlines in.

If we did have a longer runway you could potentially see Aurigny or another airline operating a longer haul service, for example to Madeira, a destionation I think many would cry out for with our large Madeiran community and also for holiday makers wanting to visit their wonderful island. In previous years flydirect.je operated flight from here to Jersey and then onto Palma, Malaga, Barcelona etc. this was when they were in agreement with Flybe now they are now with Voletra they cannot operate here as they use A319, this is an airline that would likely guarantee to the fly to the island if the runway was extended.

Personally I think this a no brainer, many are saying there is no guarantee an airline will fly here and I fully accept that, but there is also no guarantee an airline won't fly here it is likely to give airlines and option, and potentially in future it will be much more expensive and also planes are likely to get bigger, and need more runway, what's going to happen when that is potentially the case?

Rainer

@young local i think you are getting a few things wrong:

"Many airlines have not started to fly here due to the length of the runway" - where does this information come from. They haven't started flying or stopped flying because there is no market / demand. A longer runway is not making it cheaper to come here as well.

Air Berlin pulling out has nothing to do with the runway - see some posts further up and the fact that they are pulling out of Jersey as well. As far as I know a known airline will pick up flights to/from DUS and BlueIslands are doing Zurich triangular.

There is also no market for "long haul" from Guernsey if you want to call Madeira long-haul. Barcelona was a disaster and you need to fill the planes both ways. Can you see Madeirans spending 80quid a night in a Hotel that is stuck in the 80s?

It is a no-brainer. A no-brainer that it is a no-go to spend 40+ millions just to see if it works if everyone in his right mind knows it's not going to.

Young Local

BA pulled out all those years ago due to the runway, Easyjet don't due to the runway and many holiday destinations served from Jersey are used by aircraft to big to land on our runway, many may have chosen to operate here also.

Maybe that is what some report, but they did operate Stuttgart triangular with Jersey, maybe they want to launch the jets and due to demand can't without us being on the triangular but can't due to our runway.

How do you know that? There are around 2000 madeirans in our community, don't you think they would use a direct flight if they want? The direct flight from Jersey carries 10000 people a year. Also Barcelona was not a disaster, if you actually look a figures on average 78 people we on each flight, and of course the first back and last out will have lower figures as how would you get there in first place? Maybe they won't spend 80 a night on a hotel, but they might want to stay with family here?

Everyone knows in their right mind it has the potential to work, the states look for certain operators all the time by the sounds of it, by doing this extension they will be able to reach out to a much larger amount of airlines, potentially bringing in more routes.

Rainer

As far as I know from the census there are about 1500 Portuguese on the island and as you can easily track how many people fly to destinations in Portugal (including Madeira) from Guernsey at the moment (changing flights somewhere in the UK) it is quite clear that there is no market.

Only a few hundred each year at the moment and even if that increases tenfold with a direct connection - that's not enough.

Everybody in their right mind knows there is absolutely NO potential but hey you believe what you think is right.

Alvin

Sorry to say, Young Local, your post has serious flaws and is contradictory...

"over the years we have slowly been losing our air links, a lot of the time due to not enough use"

So what justification is there for a longer runway with larger aircraft ?

"Many airlines have not started to fly here due to the length of the runway"

Name one !!

"due to the lack of the open skies policy"

Exactly - such as Easyjet on the Gatwick route : and nothing to do with the runway.

"The cost of operating here is also higher than many places"

True... but those airports with low airport charges tend to be the regional ones with less demand, whereas the busy major airports such as Gatwick, London City and Manchester, i.e. the airports that people most want to fly to and from, are the most expensive.

"Air Berlin pulling out is something that should be looked at as very worrying, here we are losing in excess of potentially 4500 passengers, visitors to this island"

Indeed it is - but it has nothing to do with the runway. The 4500 pax were spread between two German airports and are for the ca 90 flights from and returning to those German Airports - i.e. an average of around 50 seats per flight. Hardly enough to fill even half an Airbus each week from one airport let alone two ! Divide that number of 4500 by 2 to get the approximate number of people served, as most were on return flights and deduct a certain number of people flying for business or other reasons, and we are left with a maximum of 2000 German tourists. Not a lot of people but, in terms of tourism revenue brought to the island, probably equivalent to about 40000 cruise liner visitors.

So, it seems to me that Marketing & Tourism are barking up the wrong tree and seem to have missed the boat here. The decision to pull out was not taken recently as the writing was on the wall months ago when the airline launched their "New Air Berlin"concept ! The States should not waste time debating unnecessary runway extensions but how to direct the island's marketing in the right direction. They should have had a back up plan in place before now !

And finally.... Madeira ? Barcelona ? They will not be profitable. But, if you insist, then put an ATR on those flights or even the Embraer 195... though I would see more potential in flying to Dusseldorf. As I said before, there is simply not enough demand for an Airbus 319 or 320.

Young Local

1. New routes that have failed in the past by potentially a bigger airline like Easyjet has been proven to then succeed in Jersey, why not here?

2. Easyjet, BA ceased their services, Volotea (Flydirect), now Air Berlin.

3. Openskies policy has had an impact on Blue Islands and Easyjet but Easyjet were also impacted on the length of the runway.

4. 2000 German Tourists, that aren't spending 7 nights of accomodation, 7 nights of food, 7 nights on activities? Yeah....not much.

5. Madeira works in Jersey, Barcelona carried on average 78 people on a flight, speaking to someone from Aurigny and I know it made a profit, you are going off speculation, I am going off fact, and from your calculations only 50 people are on each flight from Dusseldorf, so Barcelona is more profitable yeah?

Maybe not enough demand for an Airbus to fly direct here but maybe triangular with Jersey, something to actually think about?

Rainer

1. New routes that have failed in the past by potentially a bigger airline like Easyjet has been proven to then succeed in Jersey, why not here?

- because Jersey is twice the size of Guernsey maybe?

5. (...)speaking to someone from Aurigny and I know it made a profit, you are going off speculation, I am going off fact (...)

- facts from someone working at Aurigny? Turkey-Christmas? I'm too lazy to do the math, but 100% sure Barcelona was NOT profitable at all.

Young Local I love your positive mindset and enthusiasm but it's not justified here. There is absolutely nothing that speaks for extending that runway (economically).

Alvin

1 - Because Easyjet were basically put off from even trying out Guernsey by the protectionist messages of T & R : with 300000 pax annually on the Gatwick route already it would have been very interesting for EJ. They would have cut fares to increase market share, and they would have also increased pax numbers on that route to possibly more than 400000, or even more, but Aurigny would have lost considerably - not just on the Gatwick route but also Stansted and LCY. Look at what happened with the Southampton route - huge increase in numbers when Flybe and Blue Islands went head to head in a price war and prices ( BI with luggage, lounge and all trimmings ), were selling at 25 quid a flight. Now pax numbers on that route have gone back down to their original levels as prices have soared since the joint venture took place. Let's look at Aurigny... they started the LCY route after receiving the new Embraer and then being basically guaranteed a monopoly on the Gatwick route. Pax numbers are stable on the Gatwick route, with a slight decline right now as some traffic has shifted to LCY which is probably still losing money. But all in all, a pretty good stable network between Guernsey and London. Bear in mind that a privately owned airline would not have accepted such losses as on the LCY route and without Aurigny that route would not exist. There is another scenario : if Aurigny had not rushed into buying the Embraer, T & R might have welcomed EJ and the island would have seen a hefty increase in pax numbers on the Gatwick route with lower fares but higher losses incurred by Aurigny and no LCY route - and maybe even eventually no Stansted route. One can argue all day long about that though it is pointless as it did not happen. What is clear though.... it has nothing to do with runway length !

2 - EJ never started, BA and Air Berlin stopped for financial reasons not runway length. But BA could fly here through their BA Cityflyer subsidiary as they do to LCY which has a similar length of runway. ( Maybe before your time, but BEA were flying in the 132 seat Vanguards though not fully loaded - 1-11s and the smaller Tridents were not encouraged at that time because the States were against jets because of noise.

3 - EJ were not put off by the runway length. That is a fallacy brought about by the pro-longer runway crowd on these forums.

4 - Agreed very much that 2000 German tourists doesn't sound much - but I have said it is very valuable : it is worth more than 40000 cruise liner passengers and double what Locate Guernsey claims to have gained in terms of revenue generated for the island's economy. But it has nothing to do with the runway length.

5 - Barcelona did not make a profit. Work out the figures ! And out of the 78 pax on each Barcelona flight there were a lot of comp, child and infant fares - unlike the Air Berlin German fares which anyway were selling at a much higher level. The average of 50 pax was because the market was split between Dusseldorf and Stuggart - if Aurigny flew the ATR only to Dusseldorf the total number of pax for the season might drop to only 3000 - 3500, but the number of flights would be almost halved ! I would rather have 60 + seats occupied on an ATR flight with higher average fares paid than 80 seats on the E-195 - especially when those on the ATR would be contributing almost 1.5 million quid to the island's tourist industry !! If Madeira can get 60 + seats on an ATR flight then so be it. But I doubt it as there are a lot more Portuguese living in Jersey than Guernsey. Anyway... once again - what has this got to do with the runway length ?? A triangular route with Jersey : wasting 30 million quid on a runway extension just so that, maybe, Guernsey gets 30 flights a year on a Madiera route in co-operation with Jersey ?? Are you having a laugh ??

InteresTed

With an immense runway we can obviously attract lots of international carriers and will soon rival Dubai - or maybe not. Perhaps we just need to maintain our lifeline, even if it does cost us.

So, how to inject some real life in to the tourist industry? Probably not by completing with Jersey. Rather we may think about joining them and marketing the islands as a whole -- a multi island ticket for example. This could inject some life blood back into the almost defunct inter island travel and be beneficial to islanders also. Dream on.

Chris

If we had a 10,000 foot runway we could get Emirates or whoever to offer a direct flight on their 777LR or 787-9 to New Zealand. Easily the longest route in the world. Emirates would be swamped with planespotters wanting to fly the longest route in the world. Now, all we need is that 10,000 foot runway...

Rainer

Ok - let's look at what we have and what we want:

Can we afford to get rid of Aurigny: NO! Guernsey is not big enough to guarantee any other airline will offer a year-round daily service to anywhere because they are commercial businesses and they stop flying a route if it doesn't make money. Would you like to find yourself without 3 flights a week to the UK from Oktober to March because EasyJet decides that's the way? Aurigny are struggling to fill their Embraer 190 - where on earth should all the passengers come from to fill 3 to 4 A320s a day?

And that's where the discussion about a longer runway should end. It hurts to accept it but Guernsey is a small island and there is no market for a low-cost airline.

Can Aurigny do better: YES! Tighten the strings. Stop vanity projects like Barcelona flights. Concentrate on the main goal: reliable connections, good connecting times at airports we fly to. Look at their turnaround times, stop tea/coffee on 35min flights. I'd like to see which flights in the network are actually making money. Keep them, scrap the ones that don't. Make a proper market analysis and introduce new ones that might make money. Few suggestions? Amsterdam (great flight connections, avoid UK tax, great train connections to European destinations), Dublin, Glasgow...

Prospero

Good morning 100% Donkey

We have reached some accord with this issue at least !

I fear however that the dye is cast - I believe that the decision to try to Out-White Elephant Jersey has been made - this runway extension PLUS attendant infrastructure will go ahead.

£80m plus final bill ? do not see why not - it is not just the runway, it is the cost of the business disruption and social disruption that digging up the surrounding country-side will trigger.

I was told by a contact within the CS that discussions with specialists with regard to exhuming the cemetery under the flight path took place a couple of years ago. How much anguish would this cause ?

L Trott sought business persons to make a "business case" for going ahead with this folly - but of course he only solicited views from persons that were likely to agree with gambling with both him and our futures.

I think we should brace ourselves for the distinct possibility that the Bond monies will be deployed on this nonsense - and also further development at the port area.

Deputy Chris Green will shortly present Scrutiny's findings into the way the Assembly was mislead by GSP over the Bond - I would not be surprised if an intended capital splurge was always the full intention.

Radio Guernsey 'phone-in last Sunday (and the previous Sunday) featured a call from a

gentleman who is striving to obtain answers to his very pertinent questions surrounding the Bond. The previous Sunday it was telling that Dep Soulsby seemed to lose her poise when asked what she knew (Don't know Gov ! - not my department !) about the Bond. Interesting.

Many Deps as I understand it, feel that they were mis-lead on the terms and conditions (and ultimate use) of the Bond.

Dep Laurie Queripel is being stymied at every attempt to get some answers.

We should be aware of where the ruling 2 or 3 on P&R have there underlying business interests - then match the capital spending - I would suggest an overlap.

Is the tax paying public of many thousand's funding the business interest's of maybe less than one thousand persons ?

I leave you to decide.

Where am I on the political centre ? I would say just (just) left of Centre - how far to the Right you currently are ...well, I can just about see you in the distance.

The current P&R junta, Trumpism and Brexit, when their full effects bite will though, I am sure, drive you closer to me.

100% Donkey

Prospero

Thank you for your post - if you can see me from just left of centre, you obviously have good eye sight :-)

As you rightly say the bond issue is a fiasco. Having considerable expertise in financial markets, all they had to do was an issuance programme, issuing the debt in tranches as and when required. Stops wasting interest costs on unutilised proceeds !!

GSP has misled the House over this but the House didn't ask the right questions.

Why ?? because they didn't know what questions to ask - sums it up I'm afraid !!

PLP

As someone has said above, this runway thing is getting like Sunday trading.

As far as I'm concerned this is a Guernsey equivalent of "Field of Dreams" except this is the real world, not Hollywood and in the real world, it's not as simple as "build it and they will come".

Fermain

If the population rises to 80k+ over the next fifty years then they will have come, and a larger runway will eventually be justified.. the only question being if not now, when?

People don't seem to like to accept that that kind of population growth is probable by 2060, or make suitable long term provisions to develop the infrastructure to handle it.

Why

The population is in decline Fermain, and will continue.

The twenty-something's that have finished their studies at university are leaving the island in droves.

Finance is almost finished, the final blow will be when the UK leaves the EU and introduces similar tax advantages as the Channel Islands.

Sure, Guernsey is a fantastic place to live, work and raise a family - but it's incredibly expensive to do so.

Alvin

Fermain... where are you getting your data from to make such projections. The States do not envisage the population to even reach 70000 !

https://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=105766&p=0

Fermain

Your reference is a projection based simply on historic migration patterns over the last 15 years (when the population was growing due to ageing rather than migration): With a realisation of the importance of sustaining the dependency ratio we are now moving to more pro-immigration position - hence Locate Guernsey's existence and Chamber's recent call for an 88,000 population target.

Alvin

Anyway, Fermain, even if your projections are right and the States get it completely wrong, ( as can very well happen ), do not worry. The future is here...

http://www.airbus.com/innovation/future-by-airbus/smarter-skies/aircraft-take-off-in-continuous-eco-climb/

PLP

I'm just trying to imagine what Guernsey would look like with a population of nearly 90,000 people. Not a very nice prospect.

Why

Guernsey is futu and will be until a replacement for finance is established.

Let's not waste money now, let's save for a rainy day - just like we used to do before these career politicians came to the stage.

Rather than wasting time and money on extending a runway (which will not change a thing, in fact it'll probably be worse for the customer as there will be less frequent flights). Also, wave goodbye to Aurigny and the associated costs with that.

Why not look into why we are still paying UK APD tax when we fly abroad when connecting in the UK? If I book a British Airways flight from Jersey to New York I don't have to pay any APD. Why are we still paying that?

Surely that's the biggest difference we have with Jersey? It doesn't need a new runway either!

Major Denis Bloodnok

That would be because British Airways fly from Jersey to New York with one stop. If you can get a BA flight from here happy days. Sadly their great big plane doesn't come here

Alvin

Yes - but if Aurigny had a code-share or franchise agreement with BA then it could be possible. Fly BA ( operated by Aurigny ) from Guernsey to London City and take their direct service to New York, or to Gatwick and then change over to Heathrow or even via Manchester. Easy - and it would put Guernsey on the international map thanks to BA.

The States should invest in a code-share/franchise agreement between Aurigny and BA - instead of wasting millions more on an unnecessary runway.

Major Denis Bloodnok

I guess stranger things have happened Flybe allowing Blue Islands to paint their planes in Flybe colours for example

Why

Flying Guernsey to New York requires one stop also, yet we are charged APD. This should not be the case even if a change of airlines is required. As we started our journey outside of the UK.

BA's great big plane can easily land here, just like it did when the Olympic torch arrived.

Alvin

At the moment, one buys two tickets : one to the U.K. and one from the U.K. to the States or wherever, so the second ticket is for travel commencing in the U.K. and therefore is liable to tax. A code-share/franchise agreement would eliminate that as through tickets would be possible.

MajorMajor

Just throwing it out there - I'd rather the system was upgraded so that the current smaller planes could land in thicker fog, than have bigger planes ending up circling a fog-bound longer runway.

guern abroad

Jersey has the next level up and they still cancel when it's foggy!

Rainer

The space required to upgrade the ILS would be even bigger then the one needed for the extension. You would basically have to stop the cars moving on the Jackson's forecourt to allow an approach from that end.

AND: there is two elements. The aircraft needs to be equipped for it as well and as far as I'm aware most aircraft operating here at the moment aren't (but airlines are considering upgrades). So you would still be circling above the fog in them.

Chris

I think that could easily solved by a Faraday cage over Jackos

Prospero

Good morning Fermain

The population growth that you imagine is very unlikely. An economy that will have passed into serious doldrums and a rapidly aging population will mean air travel occurrence will revert to something like the 1950's - a rare thing for most of the population.

Good morning Why

You made mention of an alternative to Finance - Finance currently employs around 6,000 person (including legal services) on Guernsey ? and the disposable income that spins out from that keeps many local traders afloat and indeed stores like Waitrose etc

Post-Brexit Wealth Management will I am sure mean a rapid migration from Gsy, Jsy and IoM, probably to the City where in turn much will migrate to Frankfurt, Dublin - etc

Since WW2 Guernsey has been fortunate to have hosted Tektronix (1957-89) plus other smaller light industry sector concerns - these were not attracted to the island by Government initiatives - they were fortunate flukes.

Specsavers - they have family connections so again we are / have been fortunate.

We of course also had a major (per head of population) growing industry - that is gone, never to return. In fact we have no food security - but that's a topic for another time.

I do not believe we have anything to offer non-Finance sector companies that may just, just consider us.

High cost of salaries, rents and poor transport (in terms of shipping in raw materials and shipping out finished goods) mean we have much chance of attracting new business as The Sicily Islands.

We also do not have the commercial skill set or commercial nous within the Economic Development ministry to accomplish meaningfull progress - ex-Dep Kev did his best but chased unrealistic butterflies and....well....look what happened to him.

So - if Finance were to lose say, 50% to 75% of its work force this would mean 3,000 to 4,500 unemployed with hundred's of tradesmen and other self-employed persons going to the wall.

This exclaims the hysteria and hype surrounding Locate Guernsey. Ten wealthy persons coming to live in Guernsey ten years ago - so what ! Three wealthy persons coming to stay (for some of the time) now - bunting and popping corks !!

In addition to our woes the Civil Service would remain the same and the pension load on a much diminished tax take will break the exchequer and diminish and in some cases extinguish essential services.

The outlook is extremely bleak; almost dystopian - I know that I am going to attract a lot of flak for my pessimism but - I adhere to these views.

But - so I think do senior, local politicians - which is why there will almost certainly be a runway / airport development. One last, great throw of the dice.

Logic and common sense will not I am afraid win the day against such terrifying desperation.

Rupert Walthumstow

Prospero,

Your outlook certainly is bleak. I think much is made of "big" companies: Tektronix first, banks soon (allegedly) leaving. I think many appreciate the possibility that a couple of bigger enterprises leave, which is why Locate Guernsey is potentially so important. I might disagree with methods / cost etc but nevertheless if they can get five or six wealthy and - importantly - working "high net worths" who in turn employ five or six or ten or however many local people in niche businesses. If they start targetting the retirees we will be in trouble.

This diversifies our economy away from "banking" (even if they are still finance related businesses, they are not purely 'tax dodges' who might leave at any point), broadens the tax base and Guernsey survives.

Have a little faith.

Devil's Advocate

HNWs only come here for tax reasons - you can have the same relaxed quality of life in Dorset/Devon/Cornwall/Wales/Scotland/France as you do here.

Devil's Advocate

Nail. Head. Anyone with half a brain can see that the writing is on the wall. Government has allowed our tourist industry to go to the wall by allowing perfectly profitable hotels to come out of the industry simply because the owners can make more money as care homes. The excess population has resulted in the island becoming one big suburb which has no attraction for tourists. As other nations change their tax laws the finance industry will melt away because it's simply cheaper to do business elsewhere, only locally owned and managed companies will remain unless they close down too. Producing anything that has to be exported is not competitive due to shipping costs and economies of scale. The only hope for the island is that the decline can be managed to prevent too much pain... and that's not happening. I believe the biggest problem is the cost of housing (which was driven up by finance and external investment). No-one would have a problem in earning less if housing cost less. At present people are earning less in real terms, yet there hasn't been enough of a corresponding drop in housing costs (yet). That is why the island's young workers are leaving and exacerbating the demographic timebomb. It would probably make huge sense for the island to pay pensioners to leave the island and reduce the workload & cost on society. Bringing more people in isn't going to solve the problem either.

Major Denis Bloodnok

To be brutally honest importing well off pensioners to occupy luxury care homes over here might well be mutually beneficial. The patient would pay far less tax here and what tax they did pay would be paid to Guernsey rather than elsewhere. They would occupy the care homes 52 weeks a year (there are no seasonal occupancy variations) and the homes would provide jobs for locals. Not jobs to everyone's tastes granted but jobs none the less. The demographic time bomb could have benefits as well as challenges.

Mindful of the state of the NHS a private hospital here or preferably private treatment provided at the PEH to subsidise islanders health care might also be a winner. The island has great healthcare and it a major selling point to the elderly.

Runs with Scissors

There is a small flaw to your plan Major, and that is that the wealthy pensioners wanting to sit out their final days in care homes are not likely to be economically active, and in reality will contribute very little to our tax and social security take.

Many such pensioners have some capital behind them, and some of it invested in stocks and shares and interest bearing accounts. But the returns on those investments over the years mean that very little income arises on them - and in many cases under the uplifted personal allowances for the older citizen.

Chamber of Commerce would have us believe that increasing our population to 90,000 like Jersey is the solution to all of our problems. Absolute tosh. Nothing these clowns come up with has any legs. You'll never attract some 20,000 economically active persons to the Island.

Personally when CoC come on the local news, or Locate Guernsey, or Dandelion Project, or IOD or Rosie Dorey or any of the luvvies that think if we could only see the world through their eyes how lucky we would realise we are - I use that as my cue to mute the sound and make a cuppa. I've had enough of their manure.

Alvin

As my mother is in a home, and has actually moved from home to home, I know the rates that are charged, ( and she is local ), and I have made the calculations. Having two dozen rooms occupied all year round with an occupancy of over 95 % at the average room rates that they achieve, would turn any hotelier green with envy.

Runs with Scissors

Alvin

Whilst I agree that the pensioners may well be filling the coffers of the care homes, apart from that, and doctors bills, they are not going to be otherwise economically active are they?

Or am I missing something? Perhaps those running the care homes are paying a lot of tax themselves? Not if they aren't locally owned they aren't - 0% tax otherwise. And if they are locally owned, they are only paying tax on the funds they draw as distribution to themselves - they can roll the rest up cash free - and if clever, will sail off into the sunset out of Guernsey waters before drawing the rest tax free.

I admit they will have staff, who will have valuable jobs. But to keep the care home owners in clover, these are on the whole going to be very low paid jobs, that people in Guernsey might want to do, but likely cannot afford to do if they are to keep a roof over their own heads and keep body and soul together.

Prospero

Good afternoon Rupert

Tektronix left after 32 years or so - some thousand's worked there (700 at its height in around '75 / '76).

It not only had two manufacturing plants but also two floors of offices for european / middle eastern / south african marketing in SPP and a large computer progamming / marketing / admin building at the rear of La Villaize.

They must have employed 1,000's of men, women and students over the years that they were here.

Second largest employer to the States of Guernsey - CS and PSW's. Much larger, much longer (so far) than Specsavers

I worked there from 1973-85 - well, most of the time.

You really underestimate the lasting and benficial economic effect that Tek had on this island.

The current finance sector dwarfs even Tektronix.

You (if I understand correctly) are suggesting 5 or 6 persons employing 5, 6 or 10 people - a huge, huge drop down in scale.

Wealthy persons may well locate, make their tax deal with States IT then kick back - there is no onus on them to start a business or re-locate a business.

They got to be wealthy because they ran low cost, efficient businesses (or inherited well) - go ask them if they would gamble their wealth on a ludicrous runway !

If it were so attractive why don't the States replicate the 1800's (seriously) Markets funding scheme and have private investors invest in the airport ! Because IT WON'T FLY !!!!

This is why Alderney is in a mess - plenty of Ex-Pats who retired, relocated, spent their money and now are stranded or begging for the Guernsey tax payer to return them to a Home Counties life style (hi Chris in Alderney). I know this because my mother lived there in the 80s / 90s. I saw it in all its glory. Great parties though - was even sober once.

Locate Guernsey is like the powerboats in the 80's. Flash, expensive, over hyped and hugely over rated - and did anyone see a set of accounts - didn't the expense invoices go "missing" ?

Good afternoon Devil's Advocate

As the effect of world events (as described above and elsewhere here) take their toll - house prices will plummet.

Tourism cannot possibly fill the gap - there are more than 60,000 mouths here (including Trevor's) - our tax take (indirect and direct) is falling year on year (yeah, possibly a qtr to qtr plateau) - it is the greatest crisis since 1945. Note to Alexandra - it picked up under a Labour government.

Good afternoon Major

Theoretically you are right - perhaps we should steer some of the future students into care nursing - and pay them well !

But - do they have a shelf life ? How would you maintain the supply chain. The mind boggles at the advertising - See Guernsey and Die ? One way Tickets Available ! Weekly Dip n Die Parties ? Afterlife Is Us ?

Nah - there is blue sky thinking then there is .... in fact, have you been drinking ?

Major - did you earn that rank or is it merely illusionary ?

You take care, Sir - your Country May Need You again soon.

Major Denis Bloodnok

Very funny - Dip n Die parties - one way tickets available - see Guernsey and die. You're absolutely right those advertising slogans would appeal to no one but hats off to you they are very funny.

I have absolutely no idea whether the idea would fly but the fact remains that Guernsey offers (at present) a better tax regime than the UK, a better health service (although the cut backs resulting in the cancelation of nearly 100 orthopaedic procedures last year are perhaps a foretaste of what's to come), a safe relatively crime free environment (again financial cuts may turn that around) and a very slightly better climate than many parts of the UK. All of these things might and I stress might be attractive to the well off requiring long term retirement care. After all one of the existing care homes was created by a very well off retired electrical component manufacturer / supplier.

As regards my handle on this site. Take the trouble to Google Major Denis Bloodnok -'Major Denis Bloodnok, IND. ARM. RTD. coward and bar (military idiot and former plumber's mate) is a fictional character from the 1950s BBC Radio comedy The Goon Show'.

Anyway Prospero - 'Let your indulgence set me free' - to dream my dreams along with the wishful thinkers at Locate Guernsey. At least I don't get paid to come up with potentially stupid ideas.

Off to the officers mess now for a spot of port - must remember to pass it the right way round the table. I don't really think our country will need you or I ever again

Rupert Walthumstow

Wealthy people who move here and "kick back" are hopefully not the kind locate guernsey are targeting. If they are then Locate Guernsey should be shut down.

I am under no illusion that a few HNWs starting businesses will solve all the problems if "finance" (banking) leaves as finance did with Tektronix (give or take a few years). But surely a few local people will start their own businesses and succeed in niche areas and if a few HNWs can do similarly employing local people, all the better.

It still leaves a big hole to fill but hopefully not as big as it could be!

We do need another big Tektronix / Specsavers / "finance" business but if we can get lots of small businesses going at the same time, that big business doesn't need to be quite so big. Hopefully it could even be one of those small businesses - from small acorns grow mighty oaks etc.

Fully agree on the runway by the way - ridiculous idea.

I too am skeptical of the amount Locate Guernsey appear to be spending. According to a quick google their budget is £1.2m over three years, but it's difficult to see how they haven't already spent considerably more than half of that on pay packets alone.

Alvin

Locate Guernsey is over-rated. Something is wrong with the idea if the island is spending almost half a million quid a year on trying to attract HNW individuals whilst the tourism's marketing budget is being cut by half a million.

If half a million quid spent on Locate Guernsey generates a revenue for the island of 3/4 million, and 2000 less German tourists come, because of a lack of flights, and the island loses almost 1.5 million, something is seriously wrong.

Locate Guernsey should be run and funded under the Guernsey Marketing & Tourism umbrella, as there will be considerable over-lapping of ideas, responsibilities and work.

InteresTed

And finally Guernsey joins the EU, needing a longer runway to bring in all those EU bankers who may wish to do business with the U.S. latest state called England - the Welsh and Scots being independent.

Prospero

Evening Ted

That could well be the answer - Malta have done very well out of just that.

A friend of mine (who has a specialist finance based company based here) took part in an international conference there just over 18 months ago - joining the EU gave a massive boost to the Maltese finance sector and overall economy.

But.... that would mean talking to ..europeans...and they eat babies don't they ?

What say you Alexandra ? You move in these rarified circles ? The Swiss (lumme - the Swiss are european !)have much time for Malta ?

InteresTed

Yup. It would be a classic bit of Guernsey nifty footwork and we've got the right road names already.

REGINALD

Thanks from me 'Guys and Dolls'.for your various posts. The indisputable fact is 'Jersey has almost double the number of 'well financed Bums' wishing to sit on Aircraft Seats at any one time than Guernsey. The various Airlines know this, and, obviously prefer the additional Bum Numbers. ! If you were C.E.O. of an Airlines so would you, for sure. !!

Prospero

Morning Major

The Goons ! of course !

The stranger walked with a military bearing - which he threw up into the air and caught "which way to India ?" - "Just follow the trams lines Major"

Never heard of them.

BTW - If ever you need an Eccles or a Blue Bottle - there is one with a petrol pump (and he's not afraid to use it !) to the Vale.

Overall you are right - All the conditions that you describe are prevalent here and but post Brexit the UK maybe somewhere you would not want to grow old.

But cuts in our essential services are certain indeed are already happening (according to some Deps).

Oh, the port passes to the Left - like all rational, socially responsible free thinkers !

Have one on me.

Dismissed.

futulas_dog

There's a phrase that fits tourism over here perfectly, IMHO.

'The wheel's going round, but the hamster's dead'

Bearing this is mind, and comparing what is on offer in destination Guernsey compared to places elsewhere, what Jan is proposing is an even larger wheel for our sadly deceased pet industry.

Utter, UTTER madness.

Prospero does indeed paint a bleak future for Guernsey, but I think s/he's pretty much bang on.

The increase in population that Martyn Dorey and his Merry Men want, where are the jobs for all these people? The houses? The schools of sufficient capacity (and quality) to attract these people to our fair isle….?

and of course, who will look after all these additional people in THEIR dotage…?

Double the population…?

Triple it….?

How long before every square inch of what makes our island an attractive proposition for people is gone with THAT ridiculous flight of fancy, and no one wants to live (or move) here…?

Finance is quietly dying and there simply is NO golden goose to replace that one, period.

We have all lived high on the hog and understandably don't want to lose all that, but slowly, surely, we will. To what degree, no one really knows.

What I DO know is that the ejit who keeps on banging on States after States about a bigger runway is, as the newspaper article suggests, omitting a lot of 'facts' to support his cause, which appears to be becoming an obsession.

What I also know is is that if the coffers are getting harder and harder to fill, with less money coming in and the CS still demanding their pound of flesh pensions (to name but two issues we have), then to spend squillions on a runway we don't need, and that can't be proven to be essential - without the person proposing it significantly misrepresenting the 'facts' - is a flight of fancy that should remain just that, in his crazy, arrogant and utterly DELUDED head.

100% Donkey

futulas

Spot on and I think Prospero is right - we face challenging times ahead to put it mildly !!

Prospero

To posters and readers at large

I just wonder if The Guernsey Press (or Radio Guernsey - with Owen Mahy hopefully) would extend a platform to Dep K and D LT so they could discuss this with the public in some / a lot of detail.

A two hour sepcial on R Gsy perhaps and say, an article that invites questions in the GP would go a long way to clarify viewpoints.

Questions could be kept succinct:

How much will it cost - in £'s

Can you prove / quantify the benefits - in £'s

What planet are you on ?

These are the sort of questions the people I talk to want to know.

So come on local media - you have a subject, you have an audience.

And Radio Gsy - prove you are not run by GADOC ! (Hi Gordon - but my favorite character is Chris ...from Alderney. Who sounds as if he has a beard..Chris ?)

Ferry Man

To follow up on some earlier comments, I would like to know why Aurigny can't become a BA Franchise. Recently BA have announced expansion of their Manchester, Stansted services (BA Cityflyer express). With the exception of Bristol, Southampton and Dinard, Aurigny and BA operate to the same airport.

When I worked up in Shetland, Loganair who flew from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen flew as a BA franchise before swapping to Flybe, and they have given that up now as useless.

Whilst I know ships and ferries, I am just a passenger on planes but surely being part of the One World alliance (BA, Aer Lingus, American, Finnair etc) would give a Guernsey more opportunity for tourism and giving us the opportunity of using their network and saving airport taxes when connecting.

Perhaps someone could explain?

Alvin

This is something I have been saying all the time. But all we get from the people who want a longer runway is negativity... they would rather the island wastes 30 milion on an unnecessary runway extension than a fraction of that in getting a franchise agreement with BA sorted out.

In the past, nonsensical excuses such as incompatibility of reservation systems, high costs incurred in case of delayed flights, unwillingness of BA to enter into such an agreement etc etc have been thrown about. Yet, it is indeed possible and the link up at Gatwick, London City and Manchester airports would be fantastic - an agreement would contribute greatly to creating awareness of Guernsey as a destination for both tourist and business travel, make flying so much easier for the consumer, enable savings for the passenger in the elimination of the APD in many cases, and all of that would greatly increase passenger numbers.

Chis

Alvin

If all the reasons that have been thrown about in the past for not having a franchise agreement with BA are "nonsensical", and the benefits are as great as you seem to think, what do you think has actually prevented it from happening?

Alvin

Not having the contacts, the skills, expertise or the will to explore this further.

Not thinking out of the box.

If it was possible for Blue Islands to tie up with Flybe then why not Aurigny and BA ?

Interesting to see that Flybe have just announced Guernsey-Jersey-Dusseldorf triangular flights.

Chis

The Aurigny commercial director (Coupar) is the same guy that was commercial director at Cityflyer Express when it became the first ever BA franchisee, so the contacts and know how are probably there. BA could have given Aurigny a codeshare or a franchise at the time of handing the Gatwick route over to them in 2003 but they didn't. I guess they don't share your view that doing so would generate lots of extra passengers for both themselves and Aurigny, or at least not economically.

I think flybe is actively seeking franchise partners to extend its brand presence and share its overheads over a bigger network, BA is not. Whether joining this family has done Blue Islands any good or not remains to be seen, looking at Guernsey Airport statistics, it certainly hasn't added any passengers.

Guernzee

I for one oppose the idea of an extension to the runway. This is mainly due to noise, our current jet is loud enough, why do we want larger noisier planes on a small island?

Airport hopping is one of those things that many small islands have to deal with! We choose to live here (mainly) so should accept what comes with it!

Surely the waste issue is more pressing, lets spend money we dont have on thst please!

Ferry Man

Alvin

Thanks for the confirmation, perhaps the GP can ask why Aurigny do not consider this, after all they are the journalists!!

Alvin

And now the good news !!

Flybe to run Dusseldorf - Guernsey flights this summer !!

https://www.airport.gg/news/article/flybe-dusseldorf

Allez Les States

Something needs to be done.

Before spending the money to lengthen the runway, I would like to see what could be done with Aurigny. I mean properly done.

I would hire somebody senior from Ryanair or Easyjet on a 2 year consultancy. Sure, they won't be able to deliver £9.99 singles to Lisbon as we don't have the passenger volume, but there is no way they will happily sit back and shrug their shoulders watching flight after flight go out with 30% capacity without addressing the fare structures. We've got nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

REGINALD

Now if J.K gets his way, and the Airport Runway is extended, will it be possible to 'submit' a forged Monthly Invoice, to The States for settlement . and 'steal 'another few taxpayers millions again like the last time work was done at The Airport please. ?