Guernsey brewery Randalls have told the States of Alderney that they will not be re-opening the airport cafe.
Randalls leased the Aviation Cafe from Guernsey Airport – they own Alderney Airport – and operated the Duty Free concession to passengers on UK-bound flights.
Restrictions imposed to halt the spread of Coronavirus into the Bailiwick included dramatically cutting flights from Guernsey into Alderney and halting all direct flights from Alderney from Southampton. It meant no sales of Duty Free so the shutters came down on the cafe.
Whether the Southampton route will ever be reinstated is currently unknown.
However Randalls have decided to relinquish the concession and therefore operation of the Aviator Cafe.
The concession is now out to tender.
Flights to and from Guernsey however are busy due to free travel between the Islands. But travellers have nowhere to buy anything to eat or drink.
Randalls said they had been unable to continue to make the concession economically viable.
They added that even before Covid 19 there had been a slump in Duty Free sales at Alderney Airport because of the reduced number of flights to the UK.
Randalls have informed the States of Alderney that they would not be re-opening the cafe and Duty Free concession.
The current lease for the concession at Alderney Airport is believed to stand at around £400 per week.
James Dent, chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee, said Guernsey Airport was trying to find someone to open up the cafe again.
‘Guernsey Airport are trying to find someone to take it on a temporary basis. If this is unsuccessful they will need to re-let it as a concession.
‘Although this might take several weeks, Guernsey Airport assure us that they are committed to finding a replacement.’
Alex Snowdon has been urging the States of Alderney to press for the matter to remedied as soon as possible and has pressed for a vending machine to be installed in the interim.
‘This is the busiest time of year for Alderney, the weather is hot, and it is unthinkable that people waiting at the Airport can’t get so much as a drink of water. There is no drinking water fountain at Alderney Airport or even a vending machine. We need to find an interim solution to this while the concession is out to tender, quickly.’
Guernsey visitor Ian Rothery was waiting at the airport for his flight home yesterday.
‘This is rubbish. You should be able to at least get a drink of water here if you need it.’