Little ships step in as aircraft unavailable

CHARTER BOATS were relied on for travel to and from Alderney yesterday following issues with the island’s runway and aircraft.

Claire Prince and 13-year-old daughter Chloe came to Guernsey from Alderney on Ashlin – The Salty Blonde after finding out on social media that their flight had been cancelled.(Picture by Peter Frankland, 30721853)
Claire Prince and 13-year-old daughter Chloe came to Guernsey from Alderney on Ashlin – The Salty Blonde after finding out on social media that their flight had been cancelled.(Picture by Peter Frankland, 30721853)

The 12-seat Access Challenger stepped in for Aurigny, offering one service on Wednesday and three yesterday in place of the cancelled flights.

Owner Buz White expected to be providing this extra service until today or tomorrow.

‘We are doing our best to help out,’ he said yesterday. ‘We had three sailings today full of people and post.’

Alderney resident Claire Prince arrived in Guernsey on Alderney’s new charter boat, Ashlin – the Salty Blonde, yesterday with her daughter Summer, 13, after their flight was cancelled.

‘We were meant to be flying out this morning,’ she said. ‘I didn’t have a phone call or anything from Aurigny – I just saw the cancellation on Facebook.’

Ms Prince suggested having another plane could have helped the situation.

‘It’s hard getting off that island as it is. It would be helpful if they had another plane.’

The pair were glad to have still made it to Guernsey, but knew people back in Alderney who had to change their Easter plans due to the disruption.

‘There are a few in Alderney that are quite annoyed,’ Ms Prince added.

‘There are quite a few looking to come over that haven’t been able to.’

The Salty Blonde, sister company to The Blonde Hedgehog, had added an extra sailing to its usual two trips to and from Alderney.

The eight-seater boat did three rotations yesterday, said manager and skipper Mark Williams.

‘It’s been busy and we are doing an extra run.’

Crew member Clive Braund worked on the Little Ferry Company’s Spike Islander last year but said he was now helping on the Salty Blonde as it makes its debut season as Alderney’s charter boat.

‘We are full today and it’s all happening,’ he said. ‘It seems to be going really well at the moment.’

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