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Historic passenger aircraft on the market

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A HISTORIC Channel Islands aircraft is for sale.

The former Jersey Airlines Heron, Duchess of Brittany, which has languished at Jersey Airport for a decade, is for sale – but it would take a lot of work to make it airworthy or even to be used as a static display. (Picture by Rob Currie, 28056791)

The former Jersey Airlines de Havilland Heron once plied routes between the Channel Islands, Europe and the UK. But for the last 10 years it has sat on the ground on the southern side of Jersey airport.

Grant Thornton Channel Islands took possession of the aircraft when the company that owned it went into liquidation.

The plane’s return journey to the Channel Islands began in 1990 when a group of local enthusiasts spotted the then-Ministry of Defence-owned aircraft up for auction at Sotheby’s in London.

After lodging a successful bid, the group brought the aircraft back to Jersey, but then set about restoring it in Coventry – a project which was expected to take six weeks. It ended up taking 11 years.

In September 2018, Willy Weber – a former British Airways Boeing 747 pilot from St Brelade – brought home the Heron, named the Duchess of Brittany. It was hoped the aircraft could be used for air shows, golf events and island-hopping. But the Heron has remained firmly on the ground.

The aircraft has been advertised for sale in the Jersey Evening Post.

‘The aircraft is believed to be the only Heron in the world in its original configuration. The aircraft requires restoration to an airworthy state or simply as a static display. A spare parts inventory is also available for purchase. The aircraft will require removal at the purchaser’s expense,’ the sale advert said.

Grant Thornton Ltd recovery and reorganisation director Alan Roberts said: ‘This is a lovely aircraft of truly historic importance to the Channel Islands. Any purchaser will be preserving this asset for the current generation of islanders who rarely see such interesting classic aeroplanes.’

. Anyone interested in buying the plane should email tom.angus@gt-ci.com or call 01534 885748.

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