Guernsey Press

Skiers take direct route to hit slopes of Alps

An avalanche of skiers and snowboarders passed through the airport departure lounge on Saturday as islanders took advantage of direct flights to the south of France and the gateway to the Alps.

Called to departures... Left to right: Bella, Andre and Lynne Duquemin and friend Nichole Culverwell were all set to take one of the three direct flights to Grenoble in the south-east of France. (Picture by Karl Dorfner, 32958995)

There were three direct flights to Grenoble to coincide with the start of the half- term holiday and almost all were completely sold out.

Photographer Tim Langlois was off to work in the ski resort of Les Sept Laux.

‘I normally go with the family, and not having to go to Gatwick makes it so much easier,’ he said. ‘You are in the resort five hours after you take off rather than 12. There is none of the horror of Gatwick and no connecting flight to miss.’

He added that Grenoble was a great location because it was close to many ski resorts.

‘You can go almost anywhere. Direct flights just make it more accessible for everyone, kids here don’t get the chance to see snow very often and this makes it possible.’

Teacher Michelle Schofield, who was accompanying 60 Elizabeth College pupils on a ski trip, said that having a direct flight just made everything easier.

‘It’s not just because it’s a little cheaper, it’s really all about time and hassle it saves. Think about all the meals en route,’ she said. ‘You have no worry about getting stuck at Gatwick, as it is just one hop.’

Rachael Bertrand, 19, and her sister Emma, 17, were off to the Alps with their parents.

‘We did it three years in a row before Covid, and without the direct flight we would be much less likely to go,’ said Rachael.

‘You don’t arrive at a stupid time of night, and don’t have to get the Gatwick red eye first thing in the morning and turn up absolutely exhausted in the dark.’

Emma added that the family were big fans of all Aurigny’s direct flights.

‘It’s a chance to go somewhere exciting. We went to Majorca last year and already have flights booked to Ibiza this summer, places we wouldn’t go to without the direct flights.’

Regular skier Lynne Duquemin was taking the Grenoble flight for the first time.

‘We normally go to Innsbruck in Austria, but this time we are trying Alpe d’Huez in France because of the direct flight,’ she said. ‘Going to Austria is always high risk because you have to go via Gatwick and there are inevitable delays.

‘It will be so nice to fly back direct too as the return journey is often exhausting, and I’m looking forward to feeling a bit more refreshed.’

She added that she normally went skiing at New Year and would love more flights.

‘There are lots of people with older kids and families who would love to go when it is quieter at the resorts. If they put the flights on before and after Christmas I have no doubt they would fill them.’