'Routes will go if profit is needed'

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ROUTES would be lost, others cut back with only Gatwick safe if Aurigny was told to make a profit, the airline's chief executive officer has warned.

Mark Darby was speaking after the 2017 Budget revealed that the States-owned airline was set to incur a £4.6m. loss this year – £3.1m. more than forecast.

His comment came at a time that a protest against the cost and unreliability of travel links was called for 10am Sunday at the airport.

Mr Darby said Aurigny was told by the States to budget to break even and the downside was that any unforeseen circumstances, such as increased maintenance costs – some £1.4m. this year – put it straight into the red.

While people thought they were high, its fares still represented value for money and it was not a business that was heavily manned.

It was an expensive one to run, however.

'For a small airline it is very complicated,' he said.

'A typical low-cost airline has just one type of aircraft, for instance, but we are asked to do many things.'

He said the States wanted to fly to Gatwick, which was why it bought its Embraer jet and it wanted to fly to Alderney, which is why it had the Dornier.

'We could cut back the business considerably, but all we would be doing is flying to Gatwick a couple of times a day and maybe Manchester once a day,' Mr Darby said.

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