Highlighting Aurigny’s advantages

PORT authorities in Jersey faced a nervy time last week waiting to find out how British Airways was planning to cut 10,300 short-haul flights from its schedule and the impact it would have on travel in and out of the island.

Sure, Jersey reaps benefits from having BA operating to the island, both for interlining services, a Heathrow service, and enabling competition on the Gatwick route with Easyjet. It’s an enviable position for an island community to be big and popular enough to have two major airlines happy to compete for business and both find it worth their while.

However, the prospect of serious cuts to the schedule demonstrates the fragility of transport links, just as the collapse of Flybe did.

That gives reason for Guernsey to be thankful for the benefits of having both a state-owned operator and a privately-owned airline operating its routes.

Obviously the benefits of Aurigny ownership and its operations have not always been clear when the airline has been haemorrhaging millions in recent years, but taxpayers will be heartened by the initial indications of turnaround performance so far this year, while at the same time wondering how and why it could not have happened sooner.

But the breadth of services and a ‘get you home’ policy continue to serve the island well and the guarantee of secure air links is crucial. One need only look as far as the Isle of Man for the alternative.

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