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"Very promising" start to Heathrow route

Saturday 18 May 2019

"Very promising" start to Heathrow route

After just over a month of operation, the performance of Flybe's Heathrow service from Guernsey is looking "very promising".

This is according to Economic Development, who said 2,837 passengers used the route in April, which was in line with their expectations. Looking at the stats on an island wide basis, there was a 10% increase in passengers flying to London across Gatwick, Stanstead and Heathrow when compared to this time last year.

With this news also came the announcement that ED are already in talks with Flybe regarding the continuation of the Heathrow service for the winter 2019/2020 season. 

The Committee put £825,000 down to subsidise Flybe in allocating aircraft to fly to and from Heathrow - that money came in the form of both discounted landing fees, and a pure subsidy. 

Guernsey airport

According to ED, the Heathrow route has helped boost travellers through Guernsey Airport. 

"In total there were 3,193 (+5.0%) more air passenger movements through the airport on all routes in the month of April 2019 compared to April 2018," a spokesperson for the Committee said.

"The new Heathrow service’s total passenger movements of 2,900 since the start of the service (31 March - April 30), has also contributed to an overall increase in total passenger movements through the airport so far this year of 7,572(+3.4%) to 230,007. Year to date UK passenger movements are up by 6,449 (3.6%), and all London routes are up by 4,372 passenger movements (+4.1%), with the Gatwick route up by +2%."

Many on Guernsey have speculated that the Heathrow route will not last because the landing slots being used are only temporarily available. This included Aurigny's CEO Mark Darby. But what will come of the continuing talks between Economic Development and Flybe is yet to be seen. 

The spokesperson added: "We are now seeing the new Southend, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bournemouth, Newquay, and Groningen services starting to commence, with additional services also commencing on the Jersey and Southampton routes, and therefore we expect the positive performance seen so far this year to continue."

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Posted by Mike Pitman on
Of course it's made a promising start: the taxpayer is subsidising each and every passenger travelling.
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