Guernsey’s beleaguered state-owned airline is on track to breaking even for the first time in 2023, according to Aurigny’s CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout.
The airline is one year into a five-year rescue plan, that included a cash injection of £47m in 2021. The end result would be a profitable airline and it’s first big checkpoint would be to break even in 2023.
During a quarterly update, Mr Bezuidenhout said Aurigny is well on its way to achieving that goal.
“We are happy that everything is going according to plan,” he said.
“We have taken the first steps towards profitability… Next year will be the first year of profitability. We are moving in the right direction, but more work needs to be done.”
Pictured: The second quarter of 2022 was the first quarter Aurigny has made profit in for more than a decade.
During a briefing at Guernsey Airport Mr Bezuidenhout updated the public on several performance markers. He used the Isle of Man as a comparison and outlined how Guernsey is bouncing back to pre-pandemic flight activity quicker than other jurisdictions.
Guernsey, for example, recorded more than 218,000 passengers flying in and out of the island between January and May 2022. This is 71% of pre-pandemic levels, using 2019 as a normalised year for comparison.
The Isle of Man has only bounced back by 59% and all other UK airports by 61%.
Additionally, the real term increase in flight costs has been lower than both the Isle of Man and the UK. With Guernsey recording a 3.1% annual increase compared to 3.3% in the Isle of Man and 4.5% in the UK.
Pictured: Mr Bezuidenhout said Guernsey’s post-pandemic recovery has been stronger than both the Isle of Man and the UK.
Aurigny has also announced interline agreements with both British Airways and Emirates, the latter is still in the testing phase.
Mr Bezuidenhout said these additional steps are key to keeping the airline on track to breaking even in 2023.
Other steps include the future, possible, simplification of Aurigny’s fleet. In this regard, the future of the Embraer jet remains uncertain. Additionally, Mr Bezuidenhout still believes extending Alderney’s runway would help in this regard, allowing for the ATR to replace the Dorniers, which are costly to run.
Mr Bezuidenhout was joined by the Chairman of Aurigny Air Services, Kevin George, who fielded a question on the possible extension of Guernsey’s runway. He said this would be the answer to a question that hasn’t been properly asked.
Pictured: The future of the Embraer remains uncertain.
“On balance… we’ve met expectations as part of our business plan for the first year, for the first six months of this year we are meeting expectations, and we are confident for the next six months we will meet expectations,” concluded Mr Bezuidenhout.
“Next year is going to be our first profitable year. And we anticipate that will still be maintained.”
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