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Flights get booked up for Isle of Man and Guernsey

News | Published:

A PACKED plane of Isle of Man tourists is set to touch down in Guernsey today.

The Isle of Man Steam Railway awaits Guernsey visitors. (Picture: visitisleofman.com) (28492606)

And a nearly-full plane will be going in the other direction.

Aurigny’s Isle of Man flights have been launched as part of the communities bubbling up, which allows people from the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man to travel freely between the islands without the need for self-isolation.

The outbound flight to the Isle of Man at time of writing had 97 of the 122 seats sold. And the return flight will see every seat in the jet taken. As a bonus, passengers arriving into Guernsey will be receiving a mini gache, courtesy of Saints Bay Hotel.

For islanders visiting the Isle of Man, attractions are gearing up to cater to tourists.

The Isle of Man Steam Railway, Manx Electric Railway, Groudle Glen Railway and Great Laxey Mine Railway will be operating from July until September to cater to the incomers.

Director of transport services Ian Longworth oversees all transport on the island. Most of the railways run only when tourists are visiting, so have been sitting idle so far this year: ‘We are all ready to go,’ he said.

‘We just need the tourists to roll up and buy tickets.’

He warned visitors that the steam railway dining car experience was particularly popular with locals, so recommended that islanders book tickets in advance. Many of the railways and trams are Victorian and take a lot of upkeep. Normally the services would carry half a million passengers a year, however, like Guernsey, the Isle of Man tourist industry has stalled this year. Mr Longworth said ticket sales were very important to help pay for the upkeep. The vehicles also form part of the transport services apprenticeship scheme, allowing young people to learn Victorian vehicle skills as well as modern ones.

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Manx National Heritage is also getting ready for the tourist influx. Its attractions include Laxey Wheel, Cregneash, House of Manannan, Castle Rushen and the Manx Museum.

Director Edmund Southworth said they were delighted to be welcoming the visitors: ‘Manx National Heritage sites are incredibly popular with incoming tourists who enjoy our iconic attractions,’ he said.

‘From our thatched cottages at Cregneash to two medieval castles, abbey, museums, gardens and the world famous waterwheel, there is something for each of our Guernsey visitors to enjoy.’

In preparation for reopening to both locals and visitors, Manx National Heritage adopted additional safety measures for staff and visitors, such as hand sanitisation facilities at national heritage sites.

There are two return flights a week until mid-September. There are no active cases of Covid-19 in either island.

. For more details on the Isle of Man transport services, visit www.rail.im. For Manx National Heritage details visit www.manxnationalheritage.im.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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