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Press Release - Alderney Air Services - Memorandum of Understanding

For immediate release: 26th August 2016

Representatives of the States of Guernsey, the States of Alderney and Aurigny met last week for their scheduled quarterly review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that they collectively agreed and introduced earlier this year for the operation of air services between Alderney, Guernsey and Southampton.  Attendees included:

  • Deputy Gavin St Pier, President, Policy and Resources Committee, States of Guernsey
  • Deputy Jeremy Smithies, States Trading Supervisory Board, States of Guernsey
  • Robert McDowall, Chairman, Policy and Finance Committee, States of Alderney
  • Andrew Haining, Chairman, Aurigny Air Services
  • Mark Darby, Chief Executive, Aurigny Air Services

Following the meeting, Deputy St Pier and Mr McDowall have issued the following statement:

"Last week's meeting provided a helpful opportunity to discuss frankly the concerns that have been expressed about the air services.  The Alderney delegation made their view clear that the base levels of connectivity established as part of the MoU were inadequate for sustaining the Alderney economy or its recovery, as evidenced by load factor and other data gathered during the course of this year.

There was a clear commitment by all parties at the meeting that, for the time being, the MoU provides the best framework for us to work together collaboratively to review our experience and consider how best to plan future service provision.  In the short-term, we have agreed to work together immediately to:

  • Review the planned frequencies and capacities specified under the MoU for 2017 in light of the load factors experienced in 2016;
  • Identify options for adding additional frequencies and capacity in 2017; and,
  • Identify the cost and revenue implications of any such changes, acknowledging that these could require an increase in funding to support their operation.

These work streams are already underway with the aim of completing all the necessary research and producing recommendations by the middle of October, so that the Group can reconvene then to consider and agree the way forward for 2017 including, if appropriate, options for funding any changes.

The meeting also spent some considerable time discussing the ongoing transition from Trislander to Dornier operations.  Whilst the second new Next Generation Dornier is scheduled for delivery in mid-2017, concern was expressed about the need to ensure that Aurigny's operations were sufficiently resilient to recover from weather or technical delays in the first half of next year before its arrival.  The Group has asked that a range of options and potential contingencies to address these concerns be explored as part of the work now underway."