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Press Release - High Level Meeting in Guernsey to Discuss Alderney's Air Services

For Immediate Release: 26 July 2017

With Alderney Week and the Island's short summer peak season approaching fast, a high level political meeting took place in Guernsey this week with senior representatives of the Policy & Finance Committee (Alderney) and the Policy and Resources Committee and the States Trading Supervisory Board (Guernsey) with Aurigny's Managing Director.

All parties at the meeting recognise the vital importance of robust and reliable air services both for Alderney's economic and social well-being, especially as we approach the busiest period of the year during Alderney Week and the peak summer season. All parties pledged to work jointly and co-operatively to do whatever can reasonably be done to provide the services needed.

Regrettably, there is a delay to the delivery of the second New Generation Dornier 228, which will join the existing NG228 aircraft in Aurigny's fleet. The new aircraft is performing well on both routes. It has proven to be reliable and robust. When the second new Dornier arrives, the Guernsey and Southampton routes will be flown in the main by both new Dornier's, with back-up for scheduled maintenance etc being provided by the most reliable of the Classic Dornier's currently in service. For the time being it is also planned to retain the fourth aircraft in the fleet, although this is not expected to be needed in anything but exceptional circumstances.

The aircraft manufacturer is providing a loan Dornier (the aircraft that is in all white livery which has been seen on the routes in recent weeks). This aircraft is in service, but will shortly return to Germany for a brief period for some further upgrading work. It will not however leave the islands until a replacement "wet lease" aircraft with two crews is provided in its place, so that Alderney's routes can continue to be served as per the schedules. This "wet lease" aircraft will in turn only return to Germany once the loan aircraft is back in service on island, so we have full cover in place for Alderney Week and the Summer Peak Season.

Alderney's Policy & Finance Committee Chairman, James Dent commented after the meeting:-

"While it is disappointing that there is a delay to the delivery of the second new Dornier, the efforts Aurigny management are making, with considerable assistance from RUAG, the aircraft manufacturer, to cover Alderney's vital air services in difficult circumstances are appreciated, and we remain committed to working with Aurigny and Guernsey so that the best possible air links to Guernsey and Southampton are available for Island residents and visitors alike."

Guernsey's Vice-President, Deputy Lyndon Trot, Policy & Resources Committee added:- 2

"The Policy & Resources Committee very much appreciates the vital role that air links provide for the islands' economies and social well-being, and the fact that Alderney is more geographically remote than Guernsey makes this an even more important aspect for life in Alderney. It must also be remembered that Guernsey and Alderney effectively have fiscal union. This means that both islands benefit from strong economies in each island, and conversely if the economy in one island declines it will have a negative fiscal effect in the other. The relationship between Guernsey and Alderney is therefore very symbiotic, and this needs to be borne in mind by the States and the communities in both islands."

While Deputy Charles Parkinson, the President of the States Trading Supervisory Board (STSB) stated:-

"The Board is pleased to see Aurigny's continuing commitment to providing the vital air links for Alderney, especially in the face of the problems the airline has faced with the delay to the delivery of its second new Dornier 228 aircraft. While the delivery of the new aircraft is very clearly outside Aurigny's control, the Board very much appreciates that RUAG is providing an alternative aircraft at its own expense until the new Dornier is delivered. The additional costs of the lease aircraft will not therefore be material additional costs for Aurigny".

Mark Darby said:-

"There is no doubt that the delay to the delivery of the second new Dornier has caused significant issues and difficulties for Aurigny, but RUAG has stepped up to the plate and provided alternative arrangements to tide us over until the manufacturing and delivery of this aircraft is complete. Everyone remains committed to providing the air services for Alderney as per the schedules, and I am grateful for the efforts being made by everyone in the company from the operations and customer services teams to the front line staff; all of whom are being magnificent in some very challenging circumstances. Together, and working with the States in both islands, we will continue to do the best we can to deliver Alderney's vital air links."