Chances of extending runway are now zero

A FEW months ago, I awoke to the radio informing me that Aurigny had a new CEO. As Aurigny is owned by the taxpayers I asked myself A) had the position been advertised and B) which States members had been on the panel to agree on the appointment, assuming that there were a number of candidates.

I have it on good authority that the new CEO is from South Africa, where they have islands the size of Guernsey.

The Guernsey Press on Tuesday 14 September stated that Aurigny’s accumulated losses between 2015 and 2020 together with its projected loss for 2021 totals £72.6m. This is great news as I was under the impression that Aurigny was losing £70m. a year.

Although there is a caveat that the pandemic has made predicting the losses for 2021 difficult.

STSB president Peter Roffey said that the formal transfer of funding, to cover Aurigny’s trading losses, would put the airline on a sound financial footing, while the company planned to return to profitability within the next two years.

I remember when the question of spending £60m. on three fog-busting aircraft came up, Deputy Ferbrache said, and I quote: ‘wouldn’t we be in a blinking mess if we did not have Aurigny?’.

It is interesting to note that Loganair was operating Jersey routes this summer and announced last month that it would pull out of Jersey at the end of the season as the service was not viable. So much for Jersey being a more popular destination.

Where does all this leave the extension of the runway?

As we now have two influential individuals at the helm who are both totally opposed to the extension – I refer to Deputy Roffey, STSB president, and Stuart Falla, chairman of the Ports of Guernsey – I would say the possibility of the extension is nil.


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