Press Release - Memorandum of Understanding with Aurigny and the States Trading Supervisory Board
For immediate release: 15th February 2017
States of Alderney representatives recently attended the quarterly meeting of the Overseeing Board for the Memorandum of Understanding with Aurigny and the States Trading Supervisory Board in Guernsey.
All three parties have signed the Memorandum, which has been revised this year to include around 150 additional rotations by Aurigny on both the Southampton (100) and Guernsey (50) lifeline routes. The core schedules set out in the MoU have also been updated to reflect as far as possible feedback from Alderney's Chamber of Commerce and, following suggestions from the States of Alderney, Aurigny's on-line reservations system has been modified to improve flight connection opportunities to Alderney through Guernsey.
Re-committing to the Memorandum, Chairman of the Policy & Finance Committee said:-
"While the Memorandum is not a watertight legally binding agreement between the parties, it provides an effective mechanism for setting out clearly what is expected from each party in terms of the lifeline air links between Alderney and Guernsey and Alderney and Southampton. So far we have very much concentrated on the capacity and scheduling of the services, and there is widespread hope on Alderney that the schedules and capacities for 2017 much more accurately reflect the Island's needs than those operated in 2015 and 2016. This is very good news for the Alderney Community and its economy.
While fully committed to the MoU, this is not the end of the story for the States, or indeed for the other parties. Three further important matters will need to be considered in the next few meetings; these are:
- fares and their structures (recognising that this is a complex issue and that 'economic enablement' is a key issue);
- a practical trigger for ensuring that when all the scheduled services become fully booked, this can be brought to the attention of management and the SoA and arrangements can be made for instigating additional services - as provided for in the MoU; and
- the evolution of the MoU towards the objective of establishing openly tendered Public Service Obligations for both the Guernsey and Southampton lifeline routes.
We will be working with the States of Guernsey to ensure these issues are taken forward within the wider context of the Strategic Review of Aurigny that is being carried out at the moment.
It is worth commenting that while there has been on island criticism of Aurigny in recent years, this has very largely revolved around the very protracted and traumatic transition period from the Trislander fleet to the Dornier aircraft. We have recently received confirmation that the 2nd New Generation Dornier is now due for delivery in mid-May, which is several months ahead of schedule.
At this point we will finally be at the end of the very difficult transition period, and we can look forward to having two new state of the art Dorniers on the Guernsey -Alderney and Alderney-Southampton routes, backed up by the two Classic Dorniers. At that point we hope that Alderney can put much of the troubles of the past couple of years well and truly behind it, as we push for very much needed growth back in the visitor economy."