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What’s happening with Air Alderney?

What’s happening with Air Alderney?

Tuesday 09 January 2024

What’s happening with Air Alderney?

Tuesday 09 January 2024


There’s still uncertainty over the future of the Channel Islands’ newest airline nearly seven years after it launched, and Alderney’s government appears to have been struggling to communicate with it.

Express asked the States of Alderney if the airline had made a recent application for route licenses, as debate increases over resurrecting a direct air link to Jersey to improve tourism and on-ward connections.

It said Policy & Finance, the island’s top committee, last planned to meet with representatives from the airline in January 2023 but it was cancelled at the last minute “due to technical issues” at Air Alderney’s UK office.

“There has been no response since then to an offer to reschedule the meeting,” the spokesperson added.

Air Alderney has been active on social media since its launch, but posts are often accompanied by comments questioning when it will start passenger services.

But anyone trying to access the companies’ website will find the domain is still taken, but there is no site being hosted there.

Responding to a commenter on Facebook 12-weeks ago, it said it had everything required to begin operating, including an Air Operator’s Certificate, and staff but “the route licence and terminal space issue are still to be resolved”. 

Its most recent posts include support for “the very sensible approach to look at the business case for the extension of Alderney’s runway” after Guernsey’s Deputy Lyndon Trott reiterated his criticism of the project after returning to the top political seat in December.

The company has previously expressed skepticism about the project to extend the runway and rebuild associated airport infrastructure.

It also shared an Express article featuring Alderney States member Alex Snowdon calling for improved air links to Jersey, the UK and France. It said: “Alderney’s air links discussion is kicking off 2024 with interesting news from one of Alderney’s politicians."

The airline has been approached for comment and asked what its plans are for 2024.

Screenshot_2024-01-08_at_12.36.38.png

Pictured: The current landing page.

Background

The airline was launched in January 2017, partnered with Wessex Aviation, and it purchased two eight seater Islander aircraft manufactured by Britten Norman.

Its two bases are said to be the island and London’s Biggin Hill, which is used for light and executive aircraft operations.   

It promised new competition in Alderney aviation, with routes to quirky UK airports, Jersey and France and secured route licences to Jersey and Cherbourg.

But it has consistently hit turbulence. The main issue is with route licences which are a legal requirement to fly passengers, issued by the island’s government.

The States of Alderney say that original licences, issued when it first launched, were only valid so long as the airline became operational within six months - and that they had been made for a helicopter - not Islander aircraft.

That saw a delay of three months in December 2019, with the Alderney-Jersey route hoped to be re-established by February 2020. But then covid hit.

With delays due to covid and licensing issues, Air Alderney then revealed in November 2021 that it was on the verge of beginning commercial passenger flights to the UK initially on a charter basis.

By February 2022 charters began flying to Jersey and Brighton’s Shoreham-by-Sea airport, and it added that it would offer on-demand passenger services “very soon”. 

In November 2022 the airline showcased its aircraft and staff to the Alderney public from a hanger, but the States of Alderney told Express it was still yet to receive renewed route licence applications.

NOTE: A previous version of this story said the meeting between the airline and the States was planned for this month. This has been corrected to January 2023.

READ MORE…

New airline clash with Alderney States on licensing

Air Alderney showcase, while States distances itself

Air Alderney offers first charter flights

New doubts about Air Alderney's claim that it will soon be flying passengers

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