'Air links remain major point of concern for finance firms'

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GUERNSEY'S air links, and particularly the inter-island service, remain a matter of concern for Guernsey finance businesses.

In his retiring speech at the AGM of the Guernsey International Business Association, the umbrella body for the various sector groups, Patrick Firth said the issue had been a number one priority 12 months ago and it remained so.

He called for bold action to be taken following the publication of the strategic review of Aurigny, now expected out at the end of May.

'I believe that in order to improve the situation, bold choices need to be made, and that will involve investment by the government in the States-owned airline and the infrastructure at the airport,' Mr Firth said.

He said it was 'unfortunate' that the island appeared to have experienced more fog disruption in recent months than in previous years.

'But I cannot help but think that an improved instrument landing system may have helped. No doubt poor choices have been made in the past, but it is now time for bold decisions, including an investigation into extending the runway.'

Mr Firth noted what he described as a 'deterioration' of inter-island air links, which he said had added to difficulty for both islands in finance and tourism and for islanders generally.

'There has been much reference to Jersey's superior links and the danger posed to our industry is all too clear to see.'

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