'Blue Islands enters unprecedented territory with coronavirus impact'

BLUE ISLANDS is allowing passengers to change flights, as the airline cuts services.

Blue Islands ATR. Supplied by Blue Islands. (27486085)
Blue Islands ATR. Supplied by Blue Islands. (27486085)

The airline industry has seen a sharp downturn in passengers following the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

Aurigny has already stated it is reducing its Gatwick services and is allowing passengers to change their flight or get a credit voucher.

Blue Islands CEO Rob Veron said the airline had decided to revise its timetable from tomorrow [17/3] until Sunday 12 April to ensure lifeline routes were maintained.

'Following announcements by the States of Guernsey and the Government of Jersey advising islanders to consider avoiding all non-essential travel to and from the islands, we are entering unprecedented territory with the impact of Covid-19,' he said.

'We know our services, particularly from both Guernsey and Jersey to Southampton are heavily relied upon by both island communities for essential travel for medical purposes. Therefore to sustain these vital links, Blue Islands will operate morning and evening inter-island services between Guernsey and Jersey, as well as twice daily Guernsey to Southampton and Jersey to Southampton services plus a daily service to Bristol.'

Passengers booked on a service not operating while the revised schedule is active will be automatically moved to the nearest available flight and/or an alternative airport, and will receive an email notification advising of this change.

Passengers booked for travel up to and including 12 April may change their flight to another date and route without any change fees, although fare difference may apply.

'The health and safety of our passengers and crew is always our highest priority,' Mr Veron said.

'Blue Islands is responding quickly to this situation and our team is working hard to meet our customers’ needs. We would ask our customers for their collaboration and patience during these challenging times.'

Blue Islands was a franchise partner with Flybe, before it collapsed, and some of its aircraft are still painted in the purple livery.

'Links to Southampton are absolutely not threatened following the closure of Flybe,' Mr Veron said.

'Blue Islands operated the vast majority of frequency on the Jersey-Southampton route and will continue serve this crucial route, adding additional services where appropriate given the reduction in Flybe operated capacity.'

Southampton Airport managing director Neil Garwood said: 'Maintaining connectivity to the Channel Islands from Southampton is of paramount importance to us. My team is fully committed to working with Blue Islands to keep this service going and effectively managing the impact of Covid-19.'

The airline has got a website for booking flights, however payment has been taken over the phone since the Flybe collapse. Passengers are being contacted in date order for payment. Anyone who has not been contacted yet will hear from the airline shortly.

For more details visit visit www.blueislands.com.

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