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Flights planned to see family and friends

Flights planned to see family and friends

Saturday 27 June 2020

Flights planned to see family and friends

Thousands of people have confirmed lockdown restrictions have had an impact on their closest relationships, with most wanting to visit family and friends as soon as travel restrictions are lifted further.

With most of its fleet currently grounded, Blue Islands asked previous passengers how they feel about travelling and what their aims will be when free movement is allowed again.

With more than 4,000 people taking part in the survey, the Guernsey-based airline said it showed that "over two thirds of passengers want to travel within three months of the lockdown being lifted, travelling first to visit friends and family".

While people can fly to Guernsey, they currently have to isolate for 14 days after arriving. Any onward travel to the other islands of the Bailiwick also requires 14-days isolation, with only internal travel allowed without restrictions within the Bailiwick.


Pictured: The current 14-day isolation rule might be reduced to seven days.

Guernsey's Public Health Committee is looking at reducing the isolation time to seven days, with a test needed to confirm an individual doesn't have covid-19 before they can be released from self-isolation on the eighth day.

That is being trialled during July on a number of designated flights operated by Aurigny, with Condor Ferries running two dedicated passenger sailings from Poole to Guernsey. 

The Civil Contingencies Authority said this approach "balances the health protection risk of infection with the wider health and wellbeing needs of the population".

All other public transport to and from the Bailiwick of Guernsey is limited at the moment due to the low number of people travelling because of the self-isolation requirement. 

dr Nicola brink

Pictured: Dr Brink and her public health team will study the data from the seven-day isolation trial before deciding whether to relax restrictions for other travellers. 

While Blue Islands is not currently operating any of its Guernsey services, it is flying Jersey's lifeline services to and from the UK.

All transport to and from any of the Channel Islands is being strictly monitored with the Blue Islands survey showing that more than 85% of people said it is either "extremely or very important that airlines have clear and trustworthy safety procedures".

"Nearly 80% of people" expect to see sanitising gels and wipes available on board the aircraft, according to the survey. Blue Islands has introduced a number of enhanced wellbeing measures including passengers wearing face masks, enhanced cleaning procedures with Microbe Shield spray for long lasting bonded surface protection in the cabin and touch point sanitation procedures.

Commenting on the survey, Rob Veron, CEO Blue Islands said the information they've collected through the survey will be used to plan the flight network once the situation allows.

Rob Veron Bue Islands

Pictured: Rob Veron.

“We are extremely grateful to all of those who took part in our survey, providing us with invaluable insights as to how the community is feeling in respect of future travel.  We have learnt that over two thirds of passengers intend to travel within the first three months of normal flights resuming; the primary reason for this being to visit friends and relatives. We’re here and ready to play our part in reconnecting our communities as and when the time is right."

Mr Veron said Blue Islands is now running a second survey focusing on product features and services that passengers would welcome as part of its relaunch.

“Our second survey has been created to help us better understand what’s important to customers when choosing their flights as we strive to make the entire flying experience the very best it can be. Once again, we would appreciate feedback from the communities we serve which is truly invaluable and would like to thank everyone for their support, we can’t wait to welcome our customers on board again soon.” 

Pictured top: Blue Islands is currently only running Jersey's lifeline services at the moment. 

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