Aurigny has reassured passengers about the future of its Alderney to Southampton flights saying it plans to re-establish the direct route as soon as the authorities permit it.
Direct flights between Alderney and Southampton were stopped when the pandemic gained hold of the British Isles so that all passengers entering the Bailiwick did so via the port of Guernsey.
Many feared that they would not return.
Those fears were not assuaged when Aurigny briefly published a schedule of Alderney-Southampton flights to their Dornier schedule for the autumn, then removed them.
However, a spokeswoman said a gap had been left between Dornier rotations to allow direct Southampton flights to once again take place.
The Aurigny spokesman said:
‘Due to ongoing isolation restrictions in Alderney and in consultation with the States, Aurigny is unable to offer services between Alderney and Southampton at this moment.
‘To enable customers to plan their journeys we are cancelling our pre-planned Alderney/Southampton flights from September 1st until at least the 21st of September, but leaving a gap in the schedule so their Southampton flights can be added as soon as we are permitted. We will continue to run the Alderney to Guernsey schedule as planned and put on additional flights if we see the demand.
‘We plan to relaunch the Alderney-Southampton services as soon as the authorities clear us to do so, but at this time we do not know when this will be.’
Aurigny has been operating up to five Guernsey-Alderney flights per day during the Staycation campaign in order to meet the demand by Guernsey holiday-makers.
But the Island’s government decided not to extend the new seven day quarantine requirement for passengers from the UK to Alderney.
Aurigny Chief Executive Mark Darby said:
‘I am delighted that our relationship with the Alderney community post-pandemic is greatly improved with Aurigny’s efforts being appreciated by both residents and the government. Initially Aurigny provided just the lifeline services and then extended services to offer a full schedule for holiday makers and residents.
‘I was delighted to see images from Alderney Week and that the island was able to hold a successful event amid the pandemic.
“I am particularly grateful to Steve Parilla and his team in Alderney and our Dornier crews who have responded to the challenges of the crisis and latterly been busier than ever.’