Economic Development to review air route licensing

THE future of air route licensing in Guernsey is under review by the Committee for Economic Development.

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The committee is due to consider a report next week on whether it should continue to licence all operators on all routes in and out of the island or adopt an ‘open skies’ approach, as in Jersey.

However it appears that if change is proposed, a hybrid approach, allowing the States to continue to protect Aurigny on its profitable and lifeline Gatwick route, might be preferred.

Committee president Peter Ferbrache told a Scrutiny Management Committee hearing the committee was concerned that opening up the Gatwick route to competition could leave the island’s lifeline link exposed, as it has been in the Isle of Man, where Gatwick services are now very limited in comparison with the Channel Islands.

Mike Hopkins, the interim chief secretary of the committee, said market analysis had identified that the Gatwick market could attract competition but there would be concerns about how this would affect the sustainability of Aurigny.

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