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Air service to Rennes under consideration

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DISCUSSIONS about setting up a direct air service between Jersey and Rennes are continuing and a link might be in place within a year, the Island’s Chamber of Commerce have said.

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In April, the organisation hosted a number of delegates from France at a conference aimed at promoting business between the two jurisdictions.

Following the event, a representative from Rennes Airport told the JEP that she could not understand why an air link between France and Jersey was not already in place and hoped to set one up.

And this week, Murray Norton, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said he hoped that a link of some form could be in place within a year.

‘Jersey Chamber of Commerce, having hosted the delegates from Brittany at our Chamber lunch in April, have progressed our initial meetings with a visit to Brittany in June. Our meetings were facilitated by the Franco British Chamber and we are very grateful to be working alongside Jersey Business in our discussions,’ he said.

‘In June we met with officials in the Port of St Malo and toured Rennes St Jacques Airport with their airport director Gilles Tellier, to discuss both their passenger and freight operations.

‘The airport currently handles 850,000 passengers per year and has plans to expand.

‘It has many direct flights including Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris and Geneva and with a catchment population of 3.5 million this may prove interesting for local carriers. It is fair to say early discussions on the possibilities are under way. I think that if there is potential there, then I would hope the interested parties might be able to do something within the next 12 months.’

And Mr Norton added that during their visit, they also looked at developing other opportunities including the possibility of sending Jersey students to Rennes School of Business – where only English is spoken – and encouraging French hospitality students to train and work in businesses in Jersey.

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The Chamber also attended a number of meetings aimed at promoting business between the two jurisdictions.

Mr Norton said: ‘Jersey Chamber is working hard to deliver value to Chamber member businesses to help find new training and skills sources, or suppliers or markets they may not have considered previously.

‘Rennes is undergoing huge development and growth, fuelled by its connectivity to Paris. Being only one hour and twenty minutes by train, makes Rennes highly commutable for many Parisian workers seeking to live elsewhere.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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