Jobs of 15 Blue Islands ground staff on line due to codeshare

FIFTEEN Blue islands ground handling jobs have been put at risk by the codeshare agreement being drawn up with Aurigny.

(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29467913)
(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29467913)

The airlines this week announced plans to run codeshare agreements on services to Southampton, Exeter and Birmingham.

Blue Islands CEO Rob Veron said the job losses were part of restructure to ensure the long-term viability of the airline.

‘As we emerge from the pandemic, re-building a sustainable future, we have had to make some difficult decisions,’ he said.

‘One such decision, is to cease operating a ground handling function in Guernsey, which has been dormant for over 12 months.

‘From 1 July, Blue Islands will engage the services of Aurigny once again. Thankfully, this does create additional employment at Aurigny, who have committed to offering all affected Blue Islands staff the opportunity to interview for roles created as a result of this new contract.’

A spokesman on behalf of Aurigny and Blue Islands reassured passengers that ticket prices would not be forced up by the codeshare.

‘Both airlines will compete on all routes through fares, products, promotion and service to deliver value that is sustainable and viable,’ he said.

‘With two operators serving a route, competition is preserved, and consumers are provided with a wider choice of flights and product.

‘In terms of product differentials, this could include choice over baggage options, or inclusive fare flexibility, competing for consumer preference.’

He added that air connectivity was important for Guernsey’s infrastructure, particularly coming out of the pandemic

The new system will work for Exeter and Birmingham, with same day return options, for example Blue Islands running a morning service to Exeter and Aurigny an evening one.

‘This will ensure customers have a great choice of connectivity and a day return option once again, with the return journey bookable in one transaction,’ the spokesman said.

‘With Guernsey to Southampton, both operators will operate services on the route, each flight operating with a dual flight code. All services will be available to purchase on both operators’ booking platforms, where both airlines will compete on price, product and customer proposition.’

n Blue Islands announced on 9 April 2019 that it was recruiting 35 new staff as check-in agents, aircraft dispatchers, baggage handlers, ramp agents and supervisory roles.

Prior to that it had been using Aurigny staff for ground handling.

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