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Aurigny considers taking Embraer jet out of its fleet

Aurigny considers taking Embraer jet out of its fleet

Friday 18 March 2022

Aurigny considers taking Embraer jet out of its fleet

Friday 18 March 2022

Aurigny announced yesterday that it was carrying out "an assessment on whether the Embraer [jet] is the best option" for the airline and the island.

Chief Executive Nico Bezuidenhout said the States-owned airline had "a desire to simplify the fleet" and in particular highlighted the challenges of having the Embraer jet in its fleet.

He said that Embraer aircraft are better suited to medium- and long-haul flights whereas Aurigny is able to use it only on the 38-minute route between Guernsey and London Gatwick and that this adds greatly to what is known as aircraft impairment - the depreciation in value of the vehicle.

An additional challenge is that fuel costs per seat on the Embraer jet are twice as great as those on the airline's ATR planes. 

Mr Bezuidenhout said the assessment of the jet would conclude in a few months' time but he was clear that "operating a simplified fleet makes things easier". 

He was speaking at a media briefing called by Aurigny as part of his commitment to communicate regularly about the airline's performance and plans. 


Pictured: Nico Bezuidenhout (left), Chief Executive of Aurigny, with Chairman Kevin George (centre left), at a media briefing yesterday.

Any decision or recommendation on the Embraer jet may be influenced by news which is awaited about the future allocation of aircraft slots at Gatwick. 

Aurigny currently has six slots at the airport and can use up to nine slots when passenger demand is at its highest.

Mr Bezuidenhout said the airline would need to acquire three extra slots before a decision could be made on possibly replacing the Embraer jet.

He added that the purchase of the jet in 2014 was “not a bad decision at the time”.

He said that advantages of its purchase eight years ago included cheaper oil costs, fewer concerns about environmental impact and the favourable age of the aircraft.


Pictured: The Embraer jet (top) could be replaced by additional ATR aircraft (bottom) should Aurigny decide to take the jet out of its fleet. 

In the past few years, Aurigny has sold a Dornier D228 Classic aircraft which was used on the Alderney route and returned an ATR 72 500 model.

It has consolidated "more productive use" of its numerous ATR 72 600 aircraft instead.

The airline said this reduced employee costs since more staff are required to maintain and fly a wider fleet of aircraft.

Aurigny said that taking the Embraer jet out of its fleet could mean replacing it with two new ATRs leased to the airline.

Mr Bezuidenhout said that additional ATR aircraft were currently available on the market. 

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