Aurigny announces end to Jersey–Guernsey services

AURIGNY has announced that it is to axe services between Jersey and Guernsey – less than a year after it restarted the route.

CEO Mark Darby (27146463)
CEO Mark Darby (27146463)

The States of Guernsey-owned airline reintroduced an inter-island service in May 2019 following a five-year absence, despite a 24% drop in inter-island passengers following its departure. The company pulled out of the route in 2014, citing overcapacity.

Mark Darby, Aurigny’s chief executive, thanked customers for their loyalty.

‘We returned to the route because our customers were telling us that prices were high, service was erratic and air links between the islands were unreliable. We had seen that numbers had decreased and more people were choosing to communicate digitally, thus missing out on critical social connectivity,’ he said.

‘We genuinely thought there was room for us in the market by addressing these issues and included it in a route operated by our “spare” aircraft. Our return to this market has indeed seen prices reduce and service levels improve, but not the upsurge in passenger numbers we had hoped for, meaning that the route is not sustainable at this time.

‘We would like to thank our regular customers who have been using this service for their loyalty and hope that despite our exit at this time the quality and price of inter-island air links will be maintained.’

The announcement comes after Ports of Jersey earlier this month said that last year air passenger figures had reached their highest levels since 1995.

Ports said during the same year the inter-island route experienced a 17% rise, carrying an additional 15,000 passengers during the year – up to 105,328.

Aurigny is due to continue operating its four daily flights between the islands up until 29 February.

Anyone booked to travel on services beyond that time will be contacted by the airline in due course.

Earlier in the year, Guernsey Deputy Peter Ferbrache, president of the island’s States Trading Supervisory Board, claimed that the service was launched only because of spare capacity after flights between Guernsey and London City were cancelled. Aurigny lost £4.4 million in 2018 and is forecast to lose £7.6 million this year and £9.6 million next year.

Flybe and Blue Islands – which operates its services under a Flybe franchise agreement which allows it to use Flybe’s branding and website – both continue to operate services between Jersey and Guernsey.

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