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Aurigny to stop London City route

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Aurigny will stop flights on its London City route from October, due to a lack of demand and high operational costs.

The States owned airline say it'll be able to refocus its efforts on maintaining and improving its other existing routes, including London Gatwick.

It says more than 50 per cent of seats were empty, despite 'a sustained promotion of the route' over the last two years.

The decision to end our London City service was not taken lightly, but after considerable effort and investment, it has just not proved to make commercial sense.

There are a number of key factors at play, not least the high costs of operating to London City and the lack of demand for the route.

Despite our very best efforts and regular promotions, there sadly is not sufficient demand to make this service work.

– Aurigny CEO, Mark Darby
London City Airport Credit: PA Images

Aurigny describe the Gatwick route as 'a key lifeline service for the island' and say 'the quality of Aurigny’s service at Gatwick is crucial to both the image and prosperity of Guernsey'.

So, from the start of December it will begin handling it's own ground operations from Gatwick.

In a statement, the company said it already handles its own operations in Guernsey, Alderney and Southampton and by becoming its own handler it will 'enhance the overall customer experience by improving disruption handling and passenger communication'.

This is really an exciting opportunity for us to improve the service we provide customers at Gatwick Airport.

It is one of the UK’s busiest airports and one of the island’s main gateways into the UK. We believe this is the right thing to do for our customers and for Guernsey.

It will help us to cut disruption, improve our customer service and enhance the overall experience we offer on the busiest route to the island.

– Aurigny CEO, Mark Darby
London City Airport Credit: PA Images

The States’ Trading Supervisory Board, which oversees the States' owned bodies said in a statement it supports the decision to stop the loss-making London City route.

The board is supportive of Aurigny’s plans to deploy its own team of staff at Gatwick Airport and the benefits this will clearly bring. We also support the decision to cease the London City operations as it is a loss-making route. There is considerable pressure on Aurigny to improve its financial position and I know this is something its Board takes very seriously.

Indeed, the revised shareholder objectives that have been recommended following the review include a requirement for Aurigny to move to a sustainable operating surplus. Of course, this still must respect the airline’s role as an economic enabler and that it will continue to maintain a good network of links to the UK, including its two remaining service to London Gatwick and London Stansted. We are also satisfied Aurigny can accommodate the demand on its Gatwick and Stansted routes.

– States’ Trading Supervisory Board President, Deputy Charles Parkinson

Any London City passengers who have already booked flights for beyond 27 October 2017, will be contacted by the airline or their travel agents and offered a full refund or alternative flights on the network.