CGi gives cautious welcome to Heathrow route development

THE Confederation of Guernsey Industry has welcomed the news that the London Heathrow link is to be re-established which will make international connections more convenient for some travellers.

Whilst the CGi applauds the President of the Committee for Economic Development's efforts in making this initiative a reality, the test will be the long term sustainability of the service, ongoing requirements for subsidies and the impact on Aurigny given the inevitable loss of some passengers from the Gatwick route.

The CGi’s main concern is that without real growth in passenger numbers the net result may be a considerable increase in public subsidy to support Flybe on Guernsey to Heathrow and an increase in the funding provided to Aurigny.

Clive McMinn, CGi Chairman, said,’ This is not a perfect solution for improving international connectivity; it has a number of risks associated with it but at least there is the will to take a risk and try something.’

‘With current uncertainty over FlyBe’s future, the CGI hopes that the States has negotiated an option on the slot to continue to operate the route should FlyBe choose not to be unable fulfil the service beyond this summer. The future sustainability of the services could be assured if the benefits can be supported by evidence that the trial period will generate,’ Mr McMinn added.