Southampton passenger numbers halve in a month

PASSENGER numbers for people travelling between Guernsey and Southampton slumped to half of the September level last month after seven-day testing was ended.

Southampton Airport. (Shutter Stock image, 28925094)
Southampton Airport. (Shutter Stock image, 28925094)

Islanders arriving in the Bailiwick were allowed the option of self-isolating for seven days and then being allowed out after having a negative Covid test result, if they came from a Group B country.

This saw passenger movements between Guernsey and its lifeline airport Southampton double from the August level to 4,225.

After the UK was divided into regions, the south-east – which includes Southampton Airport – and south-west of England stayed in Group B until the start of October, when there was a sharp rise in cases in those areas. That meant anyone travelling through the airport would now face 14 days’ quarantine and that had a big impact on passenger numbers.

During October just 2,653 passenger movements were recorded on the route.

Aurigny offered five days of flights to Gatwick over the half-term break, with the first scheduled flight between Guernsey and that airport since April taking off in late October. However, the change in classification for the south-east is likely to have hit these services, as just 152 passenger movements were made on this route.

A cluster of Covid cases in Guernsey led the Isle of Man government to suspend the ‘air bridge’ between the islands at the start of half-term. But there were still more than 800 passenger movements between the islands last month.

Overall, 8,161 passengers have travelled between Guernsey and the Isle of Man this year, making it Guernsey’s sixth busiest route in 2020.

However, this has to be put in the context of that more than 50,000 people flew between Guernsey and Gatwick between January and March this year.

Passenger numbers between Guernsey and Jersey remain very small, with just 100 people using the route last month.

However, Alderney is continuing to enjoy strong Bailiwick travel numbers, with 3,470 people travelling between the islands. Alderney is within the Bailiwick bubble, so there is no requirement to self-isolate when travelling between the two islands.

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