Aurigny to cut number of planes on Alderney route

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AURIGNY will cut the number of planes flying the Alderney route to two from the start of next year, as it awaits States’ decisions.

Aurigny's G-LGIS Dornier aircraft will soon need to have its wings replaced. (26305260)

Economic Development is still working on a second attempt to agree a public service obligation deal to fly to the island, with it understood that Aurigny’s bid for that faces competition.

States’ Trading Supervisory Board member Jan Kuttelwascher has said this week that the airline was holding off on re-winging one of its older Dorniers until a decision was made on the PSO.

That was initially expected to have been made by early 2019.

Three of the airline’s four Dorniers are currently operational. However, the oldest aircraft, which is out of service, could supply a ‘donor’ wing for G-LGIS should funding be available.

‘Aurigny can confirm that one of the older Dornier 228 aircraft will need to have its wing replaced shortly, when the “life” of its wing expires. Dornier wings have a finite life and are determined by the number of take-off and landings set by the manufacturer,’ an Aurigny spokesperson said.

‘Currently, G-LGIS has around 300 landings remaining (in normal usage two to three months) until it will need to undergo this extensive engineering and design work which will take four to six months to complete.

‘We have a “donor” wing and the expertise on hand but are awaiting financing from the States of Guernsey before we proceed, as this work will cost around £500,000.’

There are various possible outcomes of the PSO, but the tender document states a preference for three 19-seater aircraft, the spokesperson added.

‘We are fully committed to the Alderney service, but are concerned that PSO will not commence until autumn 2020. Without certainty over the future of the PSO or further financial commitment we will only be able to provide a two-aircraft operation from early 2020 (One active aircraft and one spare.) Understandably, we do not wish to commit to this significant expenditure without further confirmation and funding from the States.’

The current MoU between Aurigny, the States of Guernsey and the States of Alderney requires three Dorniers: two to operate the programme and a third as an operational spare.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann

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