Guernsey Press

Aurigny asked if it has enough aircraft to manage network

Economic Development is asking Aurigny if it has enough aircraft to manage its extensive network, as well as give an explanation for high ticket prices.

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Deputy Neil Inder. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33071474)

This follows the Guernsey Hospitality Association expressing concerns over prices after discovering that a one-way ticket to the island from London Gatwick was selling for as much as £209 before luggage.

Aurigny said that high fares related to last-minute prices coinciding with peak travel periods.

Capacity on the Gatwick route this month was almost the same as March last year, said the airline.

Economic Development president Neil Inder said it had had ‘a series of exchanges’ both with the GHA and the Guernsey Airport Action Group following disruption to flights earlier in the month when two aircraft were taken out of action while two others were undergoing routine maintenance.

But on top of that, the GHA had passed on its concerns over fare structures.

Deputy Inder said he had written to Aurigny on two main topics.

‘One is confirmation that the [disruption] event has been mitigated and to request assurance that this will not happen again,’ he said.

‘In short, do they have enough aircraft to manage the extensive and very good network that they provide for the island?

‘In addition we have asked Aurigny to confirm whether the Gatwick route has indeed seen a reduction in capacity combined with higher fares, and more generally, what Aurigny is doing to keep fares as low as possible.’

Aurigny is now operating to Alderney and 13 UK destinations – six of which are seasonal – as well as seasonal services to Dublin, Paris and Grenoble. It is also offering a number of summer services to Portugal and Spain.

The airline currently has Dornier aircraft for Alderney, while three ATRs and the jet cover routes further afield. The jet’s capacity is set to be replaced with leased ATRs.

ED is working on a review of air transport licensing policy and has written to operators and the States Trading Supervisory Board for their input – the work was unable to begin until after the end of the debate on the Guernsey airport runway.

‘We are expecting to complete the ATL policy review in the next month, but it would be sensible to include the pricing review in that work as well and that additional piece of work may move the timelines further into mid-year,’ said Deputy Inder

‘And of course this would be a general review of pricing, bringing the Jersey-Guernsey route into scope.’