1. ITV Report

Blue Islands criticise Guernsey States' proposals for 'open skies' policy

Credit: Guernsey

A local airline has criticised proposals by Guernsey States for an 'open skies' policy.

In an open letter to the government, Blue Islands' Chairman, Derek Coates, has warned the policy could be "perilous and destructive".

He has urged the States to reconsider proposals, saying they will risk the sustainability of future air links in the island.

The plans, put forward by the Economic Development committee on 11th June, include making the Guernsey to Gatwick and Guernsey to Alderney flights 'lifeline routes'.

It means that airlines operating services, apart from those operating lifeline routes, will not need to hold a Guernsey air transport licence.

The States say the move is intended to increase competition in all areas, but Blue Islands say the current licensing is the best way to safeguard the islands' connectivity.

If another significant carrier came on the Guernsey-Jersey route at peak times, where both Aurigny and ourselves used to lose unsustainable amounts of money, Blue Islands would no longer be obliged to maintain its flight frequency.

It would therefore cut unprofitable flights at times when there is low demand such as the middle of the day, thereby reducing Guernsey’s connectivity and frequency.

– Derek Coates, Blue Islands Chairman

At the end of the letter, Blue Islands say they have "grave concerns" and ask to meet with the Economic Development committee to avoid "a future nightmare scenario for Guernsey".

The plans will be debated at a meeting in July.