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Aurigny CEO ‘should be held to account’ over ops move

News | Published:

TENSIONS between Alderney and Aurigny continue to simmer over the airline’s decision to outsource its flight operations base.

Aurigny CEO Mark Darby. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 24516131)

The States of Alderney has called for Aurigny CEO Mark Darby to be held to account for the loss of jobs in Alderney.

James Dent, the chairman of Policy & Finance, said the actions of Mr Darby showed ‘contempt’ for the islands he was supposed to serve.

‘Once again, the managerial leadership in this company has acted against the interests of its owner and Alderney’s community. It’s time these people were held to account,’ he said.

Mr Dent pointed out that the job loss was significant for a small island community. The States was not forewarned or consulted about the move and it is understood that the States of Guernsey, Aurigny’s owner, was not aware.

Mr Dent called for Mr Darby to be called before an urgent public scrutiny panel of the States.

The airline has said four people are employed in the department effected.

Aurigny chairman Andrew Haining said the decision to move the flight operations centre from Alderney to a contract service provider in the UK was taken by the airline’s board.

‘The board is very mindful of its responsibilities and would strongly reject the accusation that it is acting against the best interests of its shareholder,’ he said.

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‘Aurigny provides services to the communities of both Guernsey and Alderney. It is held to account, inter alia, by its shareholder to provide lifeline services and to break even.

‘The board, as you would expect, is continually evaluating ways in which its services can be provided on an efficient basis.

‘In flight operations, the board has been reviewing for some time the constraints of the increasing complexity and specialised nature of the work and the availability and capacity of third party outsourcing in this field, particularly given its ability to provide us with 24/7 coverage.

‘Consequently, we have made the decision on efficiency, risk management and cost factors in line with our remit with our shareholder to manage an efficient and cost-effective business.

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‘I am not sure it is helpful to personalise these issues. The entire staff of Aurigny work together to provide community services of a very high standard.

‘This move to a third party for the provision of flight operations services will not affect our current service provision and hopefully may improve it, particularly in periods of disruption. Specifically, our commitment to provide the regular services to Alderney and the back-up health related transport remains in place, regardless of this move.’

. Air Partner, based near Gatwick Airport, has created a dedicated Aurigny team to run the day-to-day flight operations.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
author

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