Aurigny in hopeful talks with BA and Emirates

AURIGNY will not become Guernsey’s answer to Ryanair.

Airline chairman Kevin George said there was no market demand for such a move – which would involve very early and late night departures and arrivals and charging for everything beyond a basic service.

But he was hopeful partnership discussions with British Airways and Emirates would be concluded soon. These agreements could see through ticketing – for example a single ticket from Guernsey to New York – and Guernsey appearing on their booking systems.

‘We’re talking to a number of local carriers. We think that there are advantages to all parties involved by looking at those relationships. It’s important to understand that this would not be in any way anti-competitive at all. This is just about looking at who flies where and the frequency with which they fly,’ he added.

Taking a broad view, Mr George said there was an opportunity now to step back, look at and determine the future shape and size of Aurigny with his recent appointment and that of a new CEO of the airline alongside the election of a new States last October.

Picture by Peter Frankland. (29314184)

Mr George has more than 40 years’ aviation and transportation industry experience, rising to senior positions at British Airways, CEO of Monarch Airlines in its profitable years and latterly as chief executive of the Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel.

One element is looking to rationalise the fleet – with the lease on an older ATR expiring in November and it being returned and the Dornier Classic aircraft being sold.

That leaves the fleet with three aircraft types – modern ATRs and Dorniers, plus the Embraer jet – although its future will also be considered.

Aligning the network in terms of frequency and destinations with market demand is another priority, with business groups engaged in surveying their members to that effect.

Mr George also said the Alderney public service obligation was on the point of being signed and agreed, stabilising that issue.

Ultimately, he said, he was confident the work under way could improve Aurigny’s financial performance to a point that made the airline sustainable.

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