Economic Development President Charles Parkinson launched a stunning tirade against Aurigny's approach to open skies, shortly after it was announced the airline was set to lose upwards of £7m. this year.
Aurigny was originally expected to lose £4.4m. in 2019.
However, Policy & Resources President Gavin St Pier said his committee had recently met with representatives of Aurigny and the States' Trading Supervisory Board and were informed that the forecast losses for 2019 have now risen to £7.6m.
"This is clearly a troubling development as the airline's losses are borne by the taxpayer. And it is not sustainable," he said. "We are advised that numerous factors appear to be driving the deterioration. Most notable apparently is the impact of increased competition since the introduction of the quasi open skies policy last year."
Pictured: Deputy Gavin St Pier found out about Aurigny's losses at a recent budget-setting meeting.
Deputy Parkinson, whose committee subsidised Flybe's recently-extended Heathrow service, made no apologies for introducing open skies.
"It has reversed 20 years of decline in passengers visiting Guernsey," he said. "It has been an unqualified success, whether or not it has had an impact on Aurigny needs to be reviewed but at the end of the day the States will have to decide whether they are going to write the States of Guernsey’s air transport strategy around Aurigny or whether Aurigny needs to adjust its business model to the States of Guernsey’s air transport strategy."
Deputy Parkinson paused, before saying "I'll leave it there".
However, following a question about new routes and reduced fares as a result of open skies, Deputy Parkinson took the opportunity to share "a few observations" about the States-owned airline.
Pictured: There were 13,000 passengers on the Guernsey-Heathrow route between April and July.
"Firstly, of the airlines serving Guernsey’s scheduled services, only Aurigny has not launched any new routes since the introduction of open skies.
"Secondly, Aurigny is the only airline serving Guernsey which has launched a competing service on an existing route against an established existing operator.
"Thirdly it has been suggested to me by industry sources that Aurigny must be losing £250,000 a month on the Southampton route and, fourthly, it appears that the increase on passenger traffic at Southampton is entirely matched by the decrease in passenger traffic at Gatwick."
Deputy Parkinson suggested that Aurigny's falling numbers on the Gatwick route were not due to Heathrow, but the airline's "insertion of itself" onto the Southampton and the subsequent "price war" that has driven down fares on that route.
Pictured top: Deputy Charles Parkinson.
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