And inter-island travellers can now look forward to cheaper fares with Guernsey States-owned Aurigny’s stranglehold having been removed by the governments of both Jersey and Guernsey.The decision to award a licence to Le Cocqs AirLink to compete was announced today and already a price war between the two carriers has been signalled.
Le Cocqs say its maximum fare will be £69, compared to Aurigny’s current fare of £84 return.The Guernsey government bought Aurigny for up to £7m a few weeks ago in order to be able to fly from Guernsey to Gatwick following the withdrawal of British Airways from the route.Jersey’s Economic Development Committee decided at a meeting yesterday to grant Le Cocqs an unrestricted licence to compete alongside Aurigny.
The Guernsey Transport board met on Monday to hear evidence from both airlines and, it is understood, had virtually no option but to make the same decision as its Jersey counterpart.And it is almost certain that Flybe will now apply for removal of restrictions on the limited inter-island licence it has to allow it compete fully against the other two airlines.
Currently Flybe is only allowed to offer standby seats 30 minutes before departure.The Le Cocqs service will start on 22 September using ten-seater Islander aircraft and the airline expects to fly four return services each day to begin with.
However, AirLink says it envisages building up frequency to allow its inter-island flights to become a ‘regular bus stop service’.