Herman de Wulf/BRUSSELS


Aurigny Air Services and VLM are looking to capitalise on KLMuk's decision to reduce its Channel Islands operations, with new routes to the UK mainland and Continental Europe.

Channel Islands-based Aurigny has applied to replace KLM uk on services between Guernsey and London Stansted from April. Jersey European Airways, which already services the Channel Islands from London Gatwick and Luton airports, is also competing for the route. A decision is expected later this month.

Aurigny's fleet includes eight Britten-Norman Trislanders and a Shorts 360. According to managing director Andrew Round, a lease deal has been concluded for a 33-seat Saab 340A, subject to gaining approval for the route.

"We are also evaluating a Guernsey-Amsterdam service, and talking to Saab about a second 340," says Round.

Meanwhile VLM, based in Antwerp, Belgium, had been planning to launch a string of new services to the Channel Islands in April from Antwerp (via London) and Rotterdam using Fokker 50s. But the Channel Islands' authorities apparently objected to VLM's planned services to Jersey and Guernsey from Antwerp via London City Airport, because they saw no need for any extra London gateway connections. The airline will introduce weekend services from Rotterdam to the Islands, postponing its other plans.

Source: Flight International