‘Aurigny wanted £2m. for a year-round Heathrow service’
AURIGNY wanted some £2m. to offer a year-round service to Heathrow, it has been revealed.
Economic Development president Charles Parkinson, in a letter published in today’s Guernsey Press, said that this would have amounted to about £167,000 a month, while the seven-month £825,000 subsidy it has given to Flybe equals about £118,000 a month.
Among the other factors that the committee considered when it approved the Flybe subsidy were:
. Aurigny does not have code share arrangements with any other airlines, while Flybe has several;
. Aurigny has no ground handling operations at Heathrow, while Flybe does;
. Aurigny has only one plane that would be allowed to operate into Heathrow, the Embraer 195, while Flybe’s Dash 8 Q400, although offering fewer seats, allows demand to be assessed – if demand is higher, Flybe has bigger planes in its fleet.
‘We rarely give route development support on any route, beyond the standard discounts against landing fees offered by Guernsey Airport,’ said Deputy Parkinson.
‘In fact, of the seven new routes opened up since the adoption of our “quasi open skies” policy last September [Edinburgh, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Southend, Newquay, Groningen and Heathrow], Heathrow is the only one that we have supported in this way.
‘We are custodians of taxpayers’ money, and it is our duty to use it wisely.’