Despite ever-mounting losses, Aurigny has announced it is going to keep running its newest routes to Jersey and Southampton in 2020.
At the same time, Blue Islands - Aurigny's main competitor in Guernsey - has announced it will be launching a new service to East Midlands, an airport Aurigny already fly to.
This means the two airlines will be competing on the Southampton, Jersey and East Midlands route, something they have previously tried to avoid doing.
Aurigny's two newer routes, which 'successfully' launched earlier this year, preceded the announcement that the States-owned airline's forecast losses for 2019 had risen to £7.6million.
The airline has blamed the opening of a States-subsidised Flybe route to Heathrow, which has reduced the number of passengers Aurigny is flying to Gatwick. Others though have speculated that Aurigny is cannibalising its own customers, with fewer passengers flying to Gatwick because they can now fly to Southampton.
2/2 Tentative conclusions. In a growing market (after years of decline) Gatwick is still by far the largest route (83% of London market). But it has lost 5.7% (14,124) and it is not clear whether these passengers have migrated to Heathrow (up 19,576) or Southampton (up 17,155).— Charles Parkinson (@armoricana) October 8, 2019
Blue Islands is going to start flying to East Midlands at the end of this month, with flights primarily going between Jersey and the UK, but adding connections in too Guernsey.
Pictured: Aurigny was the first airline to use the new quasi-open skies policy to compete on a route.
Rob Veron, Blue Islands' CEO, said: "This latest announcement further demonstrates our commitment to our home communities here in the Channel Islands as we continue to sustainably develop our route network and connectivity in a commercially considered fashion. This year Blue Islands has commenced services to Liverpool, Newquay and London Southend, with some 70% of passengers being additional visitors to our islands.”
Next year, Aurigny will put its newly purchased ATR 72-600s on the Jersey and Southampton routes. They are fitted with the 'ClearVision' fog busting systems, which mean that landings in lower visibility than usual will be possible. Aurigny said it wanted to be "endorsed as the dependable community airline".
Pictured: Aurigny is expected to take delivery of its new ATRs soon.
The Summer flights commence on 29 March and go right through to 24 October 2020, with fares starting from as little as £19.99 one-way Guernsey to Southampton, and £24.99 Guernsey to Jersey. In the opposite direction Jersey to Guernsey fares start from £24.99 and Southampton to Guernsey fares from £39.99.
The Guernsey to Southampton is a double daily service every day, and the Guernsey to Jersey route is a double daily Monday to Friday service.
Pictured top: Blue Islands and Aurigny.
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