Aurigny have cancelled several flights between Alderney and Guernsey on Friday because of crew shortages.
All three afternoon flights to and from Alderney have been cancelled on Friday and some could be cancelled on Sunday. It will also leave the Island without a medevac service for Friday afternoon should it be needed.
Aurigny say the situation however is beyond their control. They explained that it was primarily due to shortages of First Officers because of Covid 19 and sickness.
Aurigny also apparently endeavored to wet lease a Twin Otter from the Scilly Isles to cover the shortage, to no avail.
The affected flights are the 15.25, 17.00 and 18.30 from Alderney to Guernsey and the 14.40, 16.15 and 17.45 from Guernsey to Alderney.
Customers on the cancelled flights are being offered a refund or a journey by chartered boat.
Aurigny said an unfortunate sequence of events had left them short handed.
These include having Dornier crew in quarantine after essential training in Germany; delays in newly recruited crew training because of Covid 19; the unexpected resignation of a First Officer and the unavailability of another member of crew who this week who signed off sick. They were unable to bring in First Officers from elsewhere at short notice due to isolation requirements.
Aurigny Chief Executive Mark Darby said:
‘The crew operating the Alderney route have been busier than ever this summer and I would like to personally thank them all for their hard work.
‘It is hugely regrettable for Aurigny that this is happening on the last Bank Holiday of the summer when many people had booked Staycations in Alderney and Guernsey. We are doing everything we can to help make alternative arrangements for all of our customers.
‘Aurigny would like to sincerely apologise to anyone disrupted by these flight cancellations.’
States Member Steve Roberts said the program operated by Aurigny had long been too fragile.
‘There are too few crew and only two aircraft. I have said this a long time and yes, the public has a right to complain because in times like this it falls like a pack of cards. I hope the new management recognises this and requests and adjustment in numbers.
‘We need extra crew, extra aircraft and / or other operators on other routes. Two aircraft does not work and never will.’