Guernsey’s Policy and Resources Committee has confirmed that Aurigny has been selected as the preferred operator for the PSO.
In a statement P&R said it was working with Aurigny to develop an public service agreement which will guarantee resilient air connectivity to Guernsey and Southampton for the next five years.
They said the States of Guernsey would pay £2million per year to support the two routes over the next five years – forcing Aurigny to make savings on the current £3.7million subsidy which it says operation of the Alderney routes demands.
‘The headline plan is to finalise a five-year arrangement with a target of £2 million per annum payment paid to support the routes – which would give a significant saving over five years in comparison to the current arrangement.
‘The contract will give Aurigny flexibility to make revisions to schedules and fares in line with demand and to meet financial targets. Subject to demand there is scope for Aurigny to operate two rotations each day between Alderney and Southampton and up to four rotations per day between Guernsey and Alderney. Aurigny will augment the service with chartered aircraft and the use of the second Dornier during busy periods to enable additional flights, for example summer and/or other peaks.
‘The contract will ensure continuity of the patient transfer service for Alderney residents requiring health care in Guernsey.’
A Service Level Agreement will be put in place in order to support the meeting and assessment of performance standards on the routes.
The new Policy and Resources Committee – headed up by Deputy Peter Ferbrache – say they want to build on the strong bond between the two islands which the past six months has forged and become ‘mutually supportive’.
One of the early steps the Committee has taken, they say, is to resolve the stalled public service obligation process to provide greater clarity for Aurigny and for Alderney on air services.
Deputy Mark Helyar, the Policy & Resources Committee lead on the relationship with Alderney, said:
‘It is important that Alderney has assurance about its air connectivity. It is also important that this is provided in a way that is financially prudent, and that can be delivered by Aurigny. The collective aim of all parties is to ensure air connectivity to Alderney in a financially sustainable manner.
‘The tender process that was overseen by the Committee for Economic Development in the previous term concluded with a clear recommendation, with Aurigny as the preferred bidder. The new Committee has picked up the baton, and very positive and can-do discussions with the new Chief Executive of Aurigny have enabled us to find a solution that will represent value for money for all parties.
‘The States of Alderney has provided considerable input into the process, both James Dent and supporting officers, and we are grateful for their clear and pragmatic approach that has helped to resolve this important matter.’