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8th February 2009

Flybe Statement on Guernsey Airport Fiasco - Part II

Flybe reacted with anger as, for a second consecutive week, the travelling public of Guernsey were left high and dry because of a shortage of fire cover at Guernsey Airport.

A Flybe spokesman said: “It is intolerable that this frankly ridiculous state of affairs has been allowed to continue for a second weekend. The Guernsey travelling public are once again the innocent victims as incompetence is heaped upon incompetence in a situation that unfortunately has damaged the reputation of the island.

We repeat the point we made last week that, having had six months to resolve the issue of fire cover at Guernsey airport, the States, the airport and the Trades Unions have collectively failed to reach a position where adequate fire cover is in place at Guernsey Airport. Flybe flies from 65 airports around Europe and honestly cannot think of another where such a level of ineptitude would be allowed to fester.

Last week, 800 of our passengers had their flights cancelled and this week the figure is the same. Many of those passengers will be put up in hotels in Southampton, Gatwick, Birmingham and Exeter, the cost of which will be reclaimed from Guernsey Airport and therefore ultimately the Guernsey taxpayer.

At a time of global economic uncertainty, transport links are crucial if the island is to maintain any semblance as a serious destination for business. Flybe repeats its call that all sides convene an immediate summit to sort out an issue that otherwise could end up making Guernsey a laughing stock. Flybe is prepared to act as facilitator at such a meeting in order to bring a sense of urgency to a situation that should have been sorted months ago”.