Getting rid of jet will not help Guernsey’s image
Another sad day for Guernsey. We learn via your article that 2024 schedules do not feature our prestigious Embraer jet, and not through an official announcement from our island-owned airline – unbelievable .
Why oh why does Mr Bezuidenhout think that selling the jet will rebalance the airline’s fleet when in the same article [Aurigny confirms that sale of Embraer jet is ‘likely’, Thursday 23 November] we are told the Embraer has provided increased capacity on our vital Gatwick link and has enabled trials of services to various European destinations which has zero relevance to the dreaded ATR – yes the dreaded ATR which for the moment is allowed as a turboprop to land in Gatwick until they decide that maybe will not be welcomed anymore. We need ATRs but the experience is not particularly joyful, embarkation is very slow and, when raining, very wet – on disembarkation we are all warned to hold tight on the stairway for our safety. However if you are lucky enough to travel on the Embraer, we have embarkation under easy, covered steps and a pier on arrival in Gatwick. Guernsey has such prestige and style for a small island over and above Jersey which is essential in 21st Century air travel. We have lost so many wonderful traits over recent years – the education system now broken, healthcare struggling, and so on. Please let us hang on to our aviation image when we touch down wherever that may be for some time to come.
In last week’s Press, there was a article about getting rid of Aurigny’s jet, and in the article it stated that Aurigny’s main concern was the passengers. Now don’t forget this is the same Aurigny that has not been giving a good service to wheelchair users or to a gentleman who was waiting to board his flight, which he then saw take off without him. Stop making excuses.
Flat 2, Petit Priaulx, Mon Plasir, Green Lanes, GY1 1T2
Editor’s note: A spokesman from Aurigny responds:
Aurigny is committed to operating a more cost-effective and efficient service in line with our five-year strategy. When it comes to standardising and simplifying our fleet, the timing of announcements is determined by commercial discussions and logistical planning. The media has reported multiple times that Aurigny CEO Nico Bezuidenhout stated the possibility of streamlining the fleet, including in an interview on 21 September 2023.
Mr Bezuidenhout has said that replacing the jet with two additional ATR aircraft will significantly improve Aurigny’s service resilience, streamline the use of maintenance equipment, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.
‘I can assure customers that overall capacity will not be affected by the removal of the Embraer jet, and flights to European destinations will continue to be available using a streamlined, more efficient ATR fleet. There is flexibility to charter a larger aircraft if this is required.
‘To enhance our PRM customer’s experience, Aurigny will invest in covered Aviramps during 2024. The ATRs also benefit from generally faster boarding times.
‘Turboprops are considered more environmentally friendly, so airports like Gatwick will charge less for emissions. There are no plans to ban turboprops from Gatwick.’