Aurigny to Lease Fokker 50 to Launch Guernsey – London City Link

Aurigny has provided important continuous air links from Guernsey to London’s Gatwick and Stansted airports. It has recently expanded its Gatwick schedule - following Flybe ending its competing operation on the route - and has debuted its brand new Embraer E195 in this market, the airline’s first ever jet aircraft.

Channel Islands operator Aurigny has confirmed its initial operational plans for its long-expected new link from Guernsey to London City. The carrier will commence a double daily flight each week day from September 8, 2014 complementing its existing London operations to both Gatwick and Stansted airports.

When Aurigny first applied for rights to serve this route from aviation regulators last year it suggested it would be served by a Dornier 228. The carrier has tentatively selected the type as a replacement for its ageing Britten-Norman Trislander fleet but is still to close a deal to introduce examples to its fleet. This follows a two-week trial of an aircraft leased from Portugal’s Grupo 7 Air, on inter-island services in November 2013.

Aurigny now confirms that the route will be flown with a larger ATR turboprop. However, while it “sources an additional ATR aircraft to join its fleet for the long-term,” it says it will be “wet leasing a Fokker 50 to operate on this route for the first four to eight weeks.” This aircraft will likely be sourced from Denim Air or new ACMI provider VLM Airlines.

“As a world-renowned international finance centre, Guernsey relies heavily on its links with London both for business opportunities and to link up with colleagues on Island or in the City,” said Mark Darby, chief executive officer, Aurigny. “By adding two flights each way each week day to and from London City, combined with our London Gatwick and London Stansted services, we believe we have a very attractive offering for business commuters travelling in each direction.”

Aurigny has provided important continuous air links from Guernsey to London’s Gatwick and Stansted airports over the past ten years and has recently expanded its Gatwick schedule after Flybe ended its competing operation on the route. In the past month the carrier has also debuted the Embraer E195 on this route, the airline’s first ever jet aircraft.

The confirmation of the Guernsey – London City launch will mark the return of a route previously served by Blue Islands between May 2012 and September 2013, according to OAG Schedules Analyser, and which carried between 8,000 and 10,000 annual passengers. Aurigny’s presence at London City will grow “much-needed air connectivity between London and the Channel Islands,” said Declan Collier, chief executive officer, London City Airport. “We welcome this announcement, which will keep London’s business and financial districts on the doorstep of Guernsey’s business community,” he added.

In our analysis, below, we look at annual O&D demand between Guernsey and the London market over the past ten years. The findings show that after four consecutive years of the growth the market peaked in 2012 with demand slipping 14.1 per cent in 2013 to levels similar to 2011. The Guernsey – London Gatwick route dominates with a more than 90 per cent share of annual traffic over the period.

Data provided by Sabre

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