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Aurigny investigating further links with IoM

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AURIGNY is considering whether it can offer Isle of Man links in the future.

Isle of Man. (28632006)

Manx Chief Minister Howard Quayle has suggested the airline could operate a Gatwick service for the island.

The States’ Trading Supervisory Board acts as the shareholder on behalf of the States of Guernsey.

‘While Aurigny very much hopes to be in a position to resume a fuller flying programme from Guernsey to its usual destinations, if and when the island moves into Phase 5c of its exit from lockdown, passenger demand is still expected to be considerably lower in the months ahead and planned frequencies will be less than last winter,’ an STSB spokesperson said.

‘So, with spare capacity available, Aurigny has been and is continuing to evaluate other opportunities to make use of its aircraft, with its recent programme of Formula 1 charters being a good example.

'Given the very positive response to its Isle of Man services, Aurigny is exploring whether there are other opportunities to maintain links with that island in the short and medium term and, should those prove to be commercially viable, will release details in due course.’

A report is expected to go to the Isle of Man Government next month.

The airline began direct links to the Isle of Man on 22 July.

It is now putting on two further return flights to enable Guernsey Airport Fire & Rescue Service to take part in essential training being hosted by the Isle of Man Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting Service. Nine people are attending the training course.

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Aurigny is confident following repeated requests that customers in both islands will book the remaining seats.

The airline's commercial director, Malcolm Coupar, said the it has been stunned by the popularity of the route and the speed at which flights are sold out.

‘We have brought over sporting teams and facilitated many summer holidays this year and are also putting on a special flight for those attending Channel Islands Pride from the Isle of Man. These additional flights will allow our fire service to attend a joint training course in the Isle of Man to ensure they can revalidate their credentials. Aurigny are proud to have been able to fly the route and have helped make the air bridge a huge success.’

Guernsey Airport Fire & Rescue Service station manager Pete Bretel said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions to and from the UK, management have sought alternative arrangements for staff who need to revalidate, a regulatory requirement every four years.

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The Isle of Man Airport Fire & Rescue Service is in a similar situation.

‘The air bridge has allowed the two services to join forces in order for a number of Guernsey and Isle of Man personnel to be revalidated at the same time,’ he said.

‘Usually we send our staff to the International Fire Training Centre which, is based at Teesside International Airport and run by Serco, but Serco has accommodated both Guernsey and the Isle Of Man Airport Fire & Rescue Service by sending an assessor to the Isle of Man.’

It means staff will not have to self-isolate on their return, which would have created a cost to cover the positions on shift.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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