‘Cheaper flights equals more passengers’ – Chamber chief

BRINGING prices down for Aurigny flights will reflect well on the economy of Guernsey, the president of the Chamber of Commerce has said.


Martyn Dorey’s response came after Policy & Resources released nine recommendations on how the States-owned airline should proceed.

Mark Darby, the CEO of Aurigny, has said that the company would review its pricing structure completely if the committees involved agreed, and that it was open to experimentation.

Mr Dorey said this was an opportunity for Aurigny to become a larger economic enabler for the island.

‘Cheaper flights equals more passengers,’ he said.

‘Just look at Jersey, with Ryanair and easyJet. People say that low price airlines don’t work, but if pricing was inelastic like that, Ryanair simply wouldn’t exist.’

Mr Dorey also argued that people saying lower prices would not make any difference could only say that because the island was currently dealing with figures at such a high point.

‘Prices are at such a high place, that it is not until you bring them much lower that a difference will be made.

‘There should be a focus on getting the prices down – low tickets work as an economic enabler – and it is great that the two reports recognise that.’

Comments for: "‘Cheaper flights equals more passengers’ – Chamber chief"


I wish that every time a discussion re Aurigny is debated, that we did not need to hear of Easy Jet, Ryan Air etc. It is no point in comparing them against Aurigny. First compare the size of the business and then comparre the amount of Planes each has. Therefore more planes more destinations therefore flying to cost del sol etc full planes due to being a Hot tourist destination. Aurigny has a captive customer with Guernsey, and the destinations it goes to, but only so many people want to travel therefore half full planes except on Bank Holidays. Lower prices would be nice to have but it would not make me travel any the more than what I already do. But I do agree something has to be done, and DON'T suggest a longer runway.



Yes you can compare EasyJet to Aurigny if you take a similar route.

I have just looked at the flights and 2 people can fly Guernsey to London Gatwick return for £435.96 this is flying out on Friday 7th July at 8.30am and returning Monday 10th at 18.00.

This price includes a bag each and the seat.

EasyJet from Jersey to London Gatwick on the same days and similar times for 2 people with bags and seats is £230.20.

So yes you can compare this £200 more to fly with Aurigny.


Wallygator, there's competition on Jersey to Gatwick (easyJet and BA) so prices are always going to be lower. Neither company make a profit from that route, but happily receive subsidies from the SoJ.

Ferry Man

I thought the other important factor is BA. They fly from Jersey to Gatwick too. So lucky Jersey they have Easyjet, but they have BA too.

I wonder what the flight costs for Easyjet would be if they had the monopoly?

Y Burford

Aurigny £260 out 6th July back 9th July.


Easyjet Jersey Gatwick July £9.99 one way

Jersey Belfast October £9.49 one way

Jersey Liverpool October £9.49 one way

Island Wide Voting

2 Gordon's Gin (albeit with lime) £9.90 at La Grande Mare .... but that of course is the price sans millions of taxpayers bribe money every year

So many embarrassing millions apparently that it falls well within the secret category of being 'commercially sensitive'


Sorry Yvonne I don't want to sound offensive but this just goes to show how out of touch of reality you really are.

Yes we could fly Thursday 6th at 7.00am, 8.30am, 10.20am & 14.50pm and back on Sunday 9th at 8.35am for £258.96 (without seats).

The problem I would have with this is having to take the Thursday & Friday off instead of the Friday & Monday and to fly back at such a stupid time on the Sunday morning loosing your day away.

Yes there are cheaper options if you can have the time off, but with limited holidays you have to make the most of the time.

I made my comparison for EasyJet and Aurigny as they are both flying to Gatwick and to the islands but EasyJet are not making me fly back at such an unearthly hour on a Sunday morning.

Devil's Advocate

People should be comparing the Easyjet flights to the IoM as that is likely to be the most similar comparison.


Arguably Manchester is to IOM what Gatwick is to us - business centre, citybreak destination, good transfers to international flights. Just comparing a hypothetical weekend away with a bit of advance booking (August) nicely timed Friday afternoon flight out and Sunday evening return £120 on flybe vs £198 Aurigny

Devil's Advocate

Manchester doesn't have the finance industry like London does - IoM-> London is the comparator.


Not everyone getting on a plane from Guernsey to Gatwick is doing so because they work in the finance industry. The route is also used for leisure purposes and for onward connecting flights. Manchester is in any case also a regional centre for the finance industry and there will be quite a lot of finance related travel between there and IoM. It's not a perfect comparator to GCI-LGW but looking at the overall use of the route I would say it is more relevant than IOM-LGW.

Both IOM and LGW also have an alternative route to London via LCY which is dominated to a much greater extent by the finance industry than LGW.

Nick Le P

Simon V - have you thought of setting up a hotel in Jersey, you seem to favour it?

Plus EJ aren't making any money on £9.99 flights, and how many seats are available at that price? You are taken in by the SoJ subsidy, is that what you want for Guernsey?


Wallygator, let's compare EasyJet to Aurigny if you take a similar route from IOM.

IOM to Gatwick Friday 7th July @ 09:55

Gatwick to IOM Monday 10th July @ 19:15

Price for two people including a bag and a seat is £472.92.

So it's actually cheaper to fly Aurigny on those dates. Comparing it to Jersey isn't a fair comparison as they have SoJ funding the airlines plus more competition on that route.



Gatwick to Guernsey 218 miles, Gatwick to Jersey 240 miles & Gatwick to the isle of man 360 miles, say no more.


Miles hasn't got anything to do with it, I can get a return ticket to Australia for £500 if I book at the right time or find a good deal.

It's all about demand, IOM has a population in between Guernsey and Jersey. Flight time from all three destinations will be about the same time (1 hour).

Yet there's only one or two flights a day from IOM to Gatwick, I think we're quite lucky with the number of flights we have to London.

I'd much prefer BA to operate these services under their BA CityFlyer umbrella using similar planes to Aurigny - but that ain't gonna happen.

Best we can hope for is a codeshare setup, similar to Flybe's with Emirates - even if it costs Aurigny should do it. Don't waste money on the bloody runway.

Bet most of the island don't know they can now book flights from Guernsey to pretty much anywhere in the world on Emirates' website - if the Guernsey flight gets delayed by fog they'll put you on the next available long haul flight free of charge.

guern abroad

Great at last, if you are going to drop the prices you have to do them as low as other budget airlines that the public who are so fixated on otherwise you can not realistically say it worked or not.

The bigger challenge will be what to do with luggage, these budget travelers fly with hand luggage only but the issue here is their hand luggage is too big for the overhead lockers on the Aurigny planes so it might be that a ticket price includes 1 hold luggage item of 10kilos and hand luggage is 5 kilos only. You pay if you want more luggage.


Oh, for heavens sake !

Get your facts right !!

Ryanair do not fly to Jersey !! Ryanair, as well as Norwegian and Thomson, operate the Boeing 737-800 type of aircraft - and Jersey's runway is too short for that type of aircraft !!

There's too much spin being spun these days !!


Correct Alvin, I was about to say the same..If he is going to draw comparisons with Ryanair & Jersey it's probably best to check they operate that market first of all. It is all very well to say cheaper fares equals more passengers, but that is dependent on the size of your market and level of demand. Ryanair & Easyjet operate in Europe with a population of aprox. 740 million, Guernsey's population is around 63,000. If demand is not sufficient to support supply then seats will go empty no matter how low the fare. There are only so many times the same population are able/willing to fly on and off the island in a year, so to increase traffic significantly requires new visitors, which is dependent on a number of things in addition to the cost of flying such as availability and accessibility of accommodation, accommodation price, car hire costs, eating out and of course the weather.

Come election day........

What niggles me about this is that we have Martin Dorey of the Chamber of Commerce lobbying for cheaper fares for his members. The business community pays little or no tax on their profits and seem to expect the personal tax payer to subsidise them if Aurigny's losses increase further as a result.

If cheaper fares are introduced then somehow or other they should be structured so that leisure passengers benefit rather than business. Given that most leisure passengers can organise themselves sometime ahead then perhaps the cheap flights should end a month before the actual flight.


Of course we'd fly more if it was cheaper, if it was for a weekend away there wold be no need for hold luggage. Yes, airlines like EasyJet have economies of scale in their favour but they fill the flights up and a an attractive price - the connection is often cheaper than getting to Gatwick. They also charge less for allocated seating so we're more inclined to pay for them.

Devil's Advocate

They and Ryanair also deliberately seat people from the same booking apart to force you to pay the seat charge. I regularly fly EJ and the costs generally are comparable with Aurigny if you have a bag. They are not the panacea everyone thinks they are.


That is not generally true. We fly a lot and have NEVER paid a seat charge on any airline, including EasyJet several times a year. The only airline that has seated us apart was BA on some extraordinarily expensive Premium Economy flights from Seattle.

Nor is it true that EasyJet flights cost similar to Aurigny. I fly to and from the Canaries several times a year. The 4 hour, 1800 mile, Easyjet flights generally cost about the same as the 1 hour, 160 mile, Aurigny flights - around the same dates and booked around the same time. Sometimes even less, so how on earth is that remotely comparable?

DA, I don't think EasyJet is the answer to our air travel problems but there is no point trying to big up appallingly run Aurigny at their expense.

Devil's Advocate

My family fly EJ to/from Germany from Gatwick or Stansted multiple times a year - believe me, there is little difference in price on that route. I flew to Ibiza last summer with EJ, even with hand luggage only it was more expensive than the Aurigny leg! Not all EJ flights are cheap!


Guern Abroad. I think they are only talking about dropping the price of their highest price fares ie the flexible ones - not all their fares


Mr Dorey needs to do his research better, Ryanair cannot fly into Jersey as their Boeing 737-800s are too big to operate into Jersey. I imagine Jet2 will have a similar issue in the next few years as they replace their older Boeing 737-300s with the larger 737-800s also.

For every Easyjet success like Jersey there is somewhere at the opposite end of the scale such as Isle of Man who during the winter now has a less than daily link to Gatwick, and this summer they are pleased they have EasyJet operating two daily Gatwick flights most days during the peak summer weeks.

If we can't fill a (relatively cheap to operate) ATR and make it pay on most the short-haul routes we have at the moment what incentive is there for someone to use a larger aircraft that can already land here such as the Embraer which a number of airlines have within their groups. We need to make better use of what we have at the moment (London City, Stansted, Manchester) to reduce our reliance on airports like Gatwick and make these other routes more viable for the airlines we have first.


Exactly. Which is why Thomson Airways also does not fly anymore to Jersey as they have upsized to the B737-800.

And one must wonder what in the long term will happen with Easyjet. They have recently changed their latest order for the A-320 into the A321 - which also can not fly to Jersey. If, over the coming 5 - 10 years, Easyjet replaces all its A319s and A320s for the larger A321 then no more Easyjet flights to Jersey.


Wallygator I was saying compare the company not the route. But you have compared Jersey with a large carrier try comparing a similar size as Aurigny.

Alvin. Not being an anorak about who fly's where, I was using Ryan Air as part of the et al of the story. I am sorry that you are so jumpy. Please tell me what I should have typed instead, I am open to suggestions. ( Polite ).


My apologies Chris... my post was not in anyway directed at your opening post which I had not even seen appear by the time I posted mine.

I was having a go at Mr Dorey who, like some others in the pro-runway-extension camp, have been giving the clearly wrong impression that Jersey is served by Ryanair.


If fares were considerably lower we would definitely travel to the UK more frequently. The high cost prohibits our attendance at many family or leisure events. I am sure this is the case for many people in Guernsey. It's all very well saying not to compare with Easy Jet or Ryanair but actually we should compare with them. Aurigny and Flybe both charge astronomical fares on and off the island, but equally the landing fees into Guernsey don't help. They are much higher than landing in the UK. The whole system needs to be overhauled. The States and Aurigny need to take the issue seriously and not point the finger at each other. Yes we are a captive market. Even more reason to keep fares reasonable. If you want Guernsey to be able to offer reasonable trips off island for schools, affordable sporting trips so teams can compete beyond the island, and attract more visitors you need to keep fares down. It's not rocket science.


Getting to and from Guernsey is not just about the direct cost of flights. There is also the question of which UK airport is involved and the ease or in most cases difficulty and cost of getting there (not forgetting airport hotel and parking costs to be sure of arrival in time), and finally the frequency and time of day of the flights.

Unless you are extremely flexible the non-flight extras can easily add £100+ per person per journey even without additional travel costs to get to/from the actual destination you want.

80+% of the U.K. population don't live around London, and anyway all the London airports are difficult and costly to get to, and confusing to make your way through with lengthy check in times (and often very long walks).

So how about a passenger oriented approach? Flights to a number of regional centres - usually smaller and more user friendly airports. Flights would not need to be daily, and could use smaller aircraft requiring less passengers to fill them; the flight cost may be higher, but this would be offset by the reduction in other costs as well as the time saving and convenience of actually going where you wanted to be!

The same approach could also be adopted for selected European destinations.

The States, as Aurigny owners, could make this happen even if other giant airlines were not interested, though there are also many small regional airlines in Europe who could be interested if given a push - why not ask them (and no, don't get consultants involved - make a direct business approach to the airlines).

Devil's Advocate

"Unless you are extremely flexible the non-flight extras can easily add £100+ per person per journey even without additional travel costs to get to/from the actual destination you want.

80+% of the U.K. population don't live around London, and anyway all the London airports are difficult and costly to get to, and confusing to make your way through with lengthy check in times (and often very long walks)."

You're forgetting that most people want to go to London airports - either to visit London, to do business in London, or to catch an onward flight.

"So how about a passenger oriented approach? Flights to a number of regional centres - usually smaller and more user friendly airports. Flights would not need to be daily, and could use smaller aircraft requiring less passengers to fill them; the flight cost may be higher, but this would be offset by the reduction in other costs as well as the time saving and convenience of actually going where you wanted to be!"

So where should Aurigny fly to instead? Which alternative airports have railway stations with decent connections and hire car facilities?

"The same approach could also be adopted for selected European destinations.

The States, as Aurigny owners, could make this happen even if other giant airlines were not interested, though there are also many small regional airlines in Europe who could be interested if given a push - why not ask them (and no, don't get consultants involved - make a direct business approach to the airlines)."

I agree to an extent, but how do you cater for day/overnight trips whilst maintaining efficiency? There's not enough demand for a single particular euro destination unfortunately - holiday makers want to go all over the place (and only at holiday times), and not enough business people want to go to the same place often enough. A weekly Monday flight to Zurich is no good for businessmen that wish to only go for a meeting or overnight for example. Weekly 'charter' flights such as those from Germany are a possibility, but you need to do market research, pick a destination, then advertise enough to fill them for a whole summer.


Why are people here so desperate to have Ryanair and EasyJet? Do they not watch TV or read people's many complaints about them online, particularly the notorious Ryanair. These people will be the first to start whingeing when they are left high and dry, particularly by Mr O'Leary's entity.


I had never used any of the budget carriers - even though over the decades I had flown with many of the regular carriers, some, such as Sabena and Swissair, are no longer with us, between Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, until just a few years ago and have used Norwegian and Easyjet quite a few times and was pleasantly surprised with my flights between Gatwick, Berlin, Geneva and Zurich. Have never tried Ryanair though.


There is a world of difference between EasyJet and Ryanair, who I will never use.


And he's the Chief of Chamber!


Whatever happened to 'standby fares'? If you turned up at the airport within say 6 hours of a flight and there were empty seats on it, so could have one for 10% of the normal fare?

Admittedly 'on the hoof' travel won't suit a lot of people, but there are some who would happily go for it - and isn't it better and more cost-effective to fly a full aircraft than a half-empty one (which seems to have been the case on most of the flights that I have been on in recent times).

Devil's Advocate

According to a post on Facebook, someone would book a seat, then cancel it at the last minute and their mate would then take it at the standby price.

Bloke A

And I imagine that wheeze took most people about five minutes to figure out. We've just resisted the temptation of putting it on Facebook in case the stupid airlines get wise to our cunning plan.

I seem to recall that is (almost) exactly what we used to do about 30 years ago when you could book the late standby fares.


Well that wouldn't be a big success today, would it? You book and pay for a seat, cancel it at the last minute, give me the nod and I (might) get to purchase it as a stand-by. Sounds like and own goal to me.


Couldn't a cancellation penalty address that scam? Flybe have tried charging me £25 to change to an earlier flight when I returned to an airport early, so surely it wouldn't be too difficult to withhold some of the amount paid for a ticket if cancelled without a doctor's note/death in the family/other acceptable reason?


Dear All and Alvin

I have refrained from commenting for a long while, but there is so much misinformation it is unreal.

I refer especially to those who keep on about low cost airlines and what they achieve, but most importantly I refer to the constant threat that the Boeing 737-800 variant cannot land at either Guernsey or Jersey, this simply is not true. May I remind you all that the same was said for the BAC 1-11 many years ago, but they still came in (albeit on a smaller scale in Guernsey). The B727 was also used in Jersey and on 2 occassions Guernsey (Being Air Colombus,Portugese).

Caravelles also came into Guernsey, Sterling and Hispania used them.

Perhaps one should look at the flight dynamics and runway requirements before shouting out inaccurate data.

Please refer to the link and read pages 25c and 25D, here you will find all the technical help you require.

Incidentally Alvin, Easy jet are about to order the A320 NEOS which has greater runway performance, this is from someone who deals with orders at Toulouse Airbus factory.

As for the runway, most have had their say and most are writing drivel, Guernsey needs to bring itself into line whatever your cosy ideas otherwise you will become a backwater.

Remember the Airport has saved the Islands bacon on more than one occassion ,Dock strikes, Tomato Airlift etc etc


Paul... name one occasion where a Boeing 737-800 has operated into Jersey with at least 3/4 full load of pax ! You can't because it can't happen.

Thomson Airways no longer fly to Jersey because their smallest aircraft is now the Boeing 737-800.

Ryanair were in talks with Jersey when they were flying the older and smaller B737-200s but a deal was never concluded as Ryanair wanted to pay only 10% of the airport charges.

I am not sure why you are talking about 1-11s and Caravelles, and, for your information, Easyjet ordered the A320 NEO some time ago and have just received the first aircraft. But they have amended their last order to be A321s instead of A320s... and guess what ! That also can not operate to Jersey !

Y Burford


I have had a look at the link you provided and also the specific pages to which you refer. Some observations:

The document appears to be part of a course for a US polytechnic - not what airlines are going to be using when calculating airfield performance.

You refer to aircraft landing, but the charts you cite are for take-off performance.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the charts you refer to show that at maximum take off weight, ISA and sea level the Boeing 737-800 needs 1799m, and even at the reduced TOW it needs 1509m.

Take-off run is not the only parameter determining whether an aircraft can use an airfield.

Guernsey's runway (09) is 1463m, Jersey's runway (26) is 1645m.





There is no such word as can't

Most flights to and from the Islands would have a maximim flight time of 2 hours, no aircraft ruinning any route from Guernsey or Jersey would need anywhere near full tanks, therefore the take off weight is greatly reduced.

I did not say that a B737-800 has ever operated into Jersey, but it will happen, Thompson no longer operate into Jersey you are correct, not because of aircraft size, but they have more lucrative contracts elsewhere.

Ryan air did actually serve Jersey at one time with B737s, not 800s I grant you, but as always it came down to subsidising costs and jersey did not want to play ball.

I referred to the other Jets to illustrate peoples lack of knowledge as most would not even believe that these aircraft were operated on short runways.

Incidentally Thomson operate to Skiathos with a B737-800 on a very short runway, which from memory the aircraft have to be position by a tug to maximise take off distance!

Perhaps you have forgotten that B757s operated into Jersey quite frequently with BA, Monarch and Britannia, they also did not need a full payload of fuel. The B757 being a much larger aircraft than the B737-800. A310s of Caledonian and L1011s were also used.

So never say never !!


Paul... The B757 is indeed much larger than the B737-800 but requires less of a take off distance and is famous as being, out of the larger aircraft, the one with the pretty short take off capabilities. Up to last year it was still being used to Gibraltar though not fully loaded.

But Thomson did pull out of Jersey because they had switched to the B737-800, ( it is stated in one of the SoJ reports ), and not because of market conditions as they had a surplus of aircraft when flights to the likes of Tunisia and Sharm were ruled out.

Quite possibly a 737-800 could get in and out of Jersey but only with a very low passenger load and on a short flight, and assuming dry weather.

Easyjet were prepared to come to Guernsey on the Gatwick route with the A319 which has 156 seats but knew that in worse case scenario, ( wet weather departing on 09 ), their pax load would only be max 125 but I doubt if one would get anywhere near that 80 % load on a 737-800 out of Jersey, even in dry weather.


I have just noticed that Aurigny are now selling Guernsey - Gatwick flights later this year for as low as £29.99 and LCY for £39.99... and not part of any grabit promotion. Is this something new ?

Head in the clouds

Be careful what you wish for.

The following was copied from the manxradio.com website, posted yesterday morning...

Midweek rotations 'worrying' says group

Island pressure group TravelWatch says the reduced air service between the Island and London Gatwick over the summer is unwelcome news for the Manx community, business, and tourism.

easyJet's schedule includes just one evening flight on three midweek days in July and August, as aircraft are pulled onto more lucrative holiday routes.

That will rule out round trips to the capital in a day, and make onward connections difficult without an overnight stay.

The lower capacity could also hit the visitor market.

The airline's summer schedule is unchanged from last year, although a Saturday flight from the Island to Gatwick has been restored

TravelWatch aviation spokesman Mike Bathgate says the situaiton's far from ideal:

The States of Guernsey can at least tell Aurigny what it expects of them, but i don't think they would be able to tell Easyjet what to do.


Bum's on seats is what's needed!


I have a question that I wonder if someone can answer perhaps Mark Darby if he reads this.

Having just been looking at flights to Gatwick using my reward points it does not matter when I try to book from now until next February I can not fly out any later than 14.50 on a Friday and must return no later than 11.50 on the Sunday.

However if I was flying the opposite way I.e. Gatwick to Guernsey, Guernsey to Gatwick I can fly out up to 18.00 on both the Friday and Sunday, WHY!!!!!!!

GFC fan

Absolutely agree with the headline: cheaper flights will mean more people filling seats and spending more money on-board and at the airport.

Aurigny have bought a fantastic jet, but most of the time I am on it is half empty.

Guernsey's constant support for Monopolies (Aurigny and Condor) has scuppered our tourist industry in that transport links have either become unaffordable or inefficient. Competition is what is need to improve efficiency and reduce prices.

If you consider the affordable links those in the UK and Europe enjoy, a return flight to Gatwick should not cost more than 80 quid regardless of how far in advance you book it.

Y Burford

GFC fan,

Those airlines serving the UK and Europe are not serving communities of 60,000 people.

easyJet's average fare across its network is £63 one way, so an average return is £126. Admittedly this includes longer sectors, but the bit in the middle is not the most expensive part. Indeed it is usually the opportunity to sell as much as possible to passengers to compensate for offering cheaper tickets.

The demise of the excellent inter-island service began when competition was allowed on the inter-island route.


Actually YB the demise of the inter-Island service was due to Aurigny increasing their prices and deciding to no longer offer the "taxi" service that made them so popular. These decisions led to the creation of Blue Islands and the competition. All Aurigny's own fault and that of their MD at the time Malcolm Hart.

Le Goubert

Reading this thread mirrors all other threads on TIG.

In one corner there are people providing empirical evidence detailing why a runway extension is not required and in the other corner people who have opinions and feelings it will turn the Island into a land of milk and honey.

Rather like the religious fanatics in the Dark Ages who had opinions and feelings the Earth was at the centre of the universe and everything revolved around it.....and then burned the heretics who dared to use 'scientific' evidence to debunk their flawed ideas.

The post above about the parlous state of Isle of Man's air connections should be a warning to all, and an exercise in 'lessons learnt', you know that blithe, throwaway statement politicians make after wasting £75m of tax payers cash after yet another vanity project crashes and burns.