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  1. ITV Report

Aurigny to operate Alderney service with one plane a day

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Aurigny's service to Alderney will operate with only two planes, one of which will be used as a spare, meaning there will only be one plane operating daily.

There are now concerns that islanders will not be able to get off the island in an emergency and will be left stranded if the planes are out of service.

The Economic Development Committee are due to decide who will run the public service obligation (PSO) route from Alderney by the end of the month.

Aurigny, the States-owned airline, currently run the route but the committee have received a number of bids from potential new airline services.

A decision on which airline will take over the route could then happen early next year. However, Alderney's Chamber of Commerce says it looks unlikely anything will be in place before next autumn.

Earlier this year bids from four airlines were rejected for the public service obligation. Guernsey's economic development committee claimed they did not offer a sustainable service, Aurigny was among them.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

The airline, Aurigny, which had originally run the route with four dorniers say they will not repair one of their planes until there is certainty over the public service obligation.

The airline says repairs needed on one of their dorniers will cost half a million and they are not willing to spend this until a decision has been made as to which airline will be running the route.

This is where it becomes so critical that the PSO, we need a result from that as fast as possible, or even just kick it into touch and let's just get on with life again, get Aurigny back up and running.

Then we'd have the three dorniers, because they're suggesting at the moment two dorniers for next year which is just not going to work for two sectors, that'll be detrimental to tourism and business again.

– Andrew Eggleston, Alderney Chamber of Commerce

Guernsey's government has now offered the route with a subsidy to the airline which offers the best bid. Until a decision is made, it means Aurigny will only one plane operating daily.

One member of the public told ITV News: "I think it's absolutely disgusting, you are going to get people dying here, there have been more this year than we have ever had before."

And another said: "Now, we have nothing, and we have an unremitting disaster here... they have got to sort this out, and pretty damn quickly."

Aurigny connects Alderney to the rest of the world, but is currently serving the island at a loss of more than £3 million a year.