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Parkinson: 'Open skies is working, passenger figures are growing'

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CREATING a quasi open skies policy appears to be working, Economic Development president Charles Parkinson has said.

Economic Development president Deputy Charles Parkinson. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 26076436)

The policy was voted through by the States last summer, with just the Guernsey-Gatwick route and Alderney-Guernsey routes protected from competition.

While Aurigny has raised concerns, as competition has hit its Gatwick service, Deputy Parkinson said the latest airport figures showed that things were going well.

‘The latest airport passenger figures show continued healthy growth, with total passenger movements up by 5.7% year to date, and the London market passenger movements up by 4.8%, showing additional stimulated demand following the launch of the new Heathrow and Southend routes this year,’ he said.

‘The Southampton and Jersey routes are also showing very healthy passenger movement increases of 19% and 10% respectively, since Aurigny launched its competing services on the two routes earlier this year.

‘The improved performance to date this year appears to be showing early signs of the positive impact the introduction of quasi open skies, and the resulting increased competition and improved customer choice, is having on passenger movements through Guernsey Airport.’

Blue Islands has been enjoying a successful year so far.

CEO Rob Veron said the company had achieved 17% year-on-year growth in passenger journeys on routes operated to and from Guernsey between May and September.

‘Our team welcomed a record number of passengers on board our services this summer serving 204,723 customers between May and September, up some 30,000 compared to 174,667 in the same period in 2018,’ he said.

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‘Blue Islands has commenced three new services from Guernsey this summer – London Southend, Liverpool and Newquay.

‘Key to the success of these new routes is commercial appraisal, ensuring viability and future sustainability of our flying programme.

‘Importantly for the economy, 70% of our London Southend and Liverpool passengers were new inbound visitors to Guernsey.

‘Our 2020 summer schedule will be on sale soon and we look forward to the return of Liverpool and Newquay services next year.’

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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