Flybe's Channel Islands to Gatwick route ends

FlyBe aircraft Image copyright Other
Image caption Flybe will no longer operate the Channel Islands to London Gatwick route

Flights from airline Flybe have left Guernsey's runway for the last time on its direct Channel Islands to Gatwick flights.

Flybe sold its slots at the London airport to Easyjet for £20m, blaming an increase in airport charges.

Gatwick flights will continue from both islands with British Airways flying from Jersey and Aurigny flying from Guernsey.

Aurigny's Mark Darby said the airline is ready for the extra capacity.

"We've been doing a lot of work over the last few months. We're in good shape," the chief executive said.

"Being the sole operator is not particularly what we want to be, but as we will be the only operator of the Gatwick route it's essential for the States that we do a good job."

Flybe was operating 34 flights per week to Gatwick from Guernsey and 28 flights a week from Jersey.

Aurigny has ordered a 122-seat Embraer 195 jet to increase the number of seats it can offer on each flight.

That plane is due to arrive in June and in the meantime the airline has hired an aircraft of the same type from Flybe.

Jamie Blondel, from the Association of Guernsey Travel Agents, said: "Competition is healthy. Obviously landing taxes are going up in both Guernsey and Gatwick so prices are going to go up. Hopefully they won't put it up too much."

In Jersey, Easyjet has launched a service to Gatwick after buying 25 slots at the airport from Flybe.

Easyjet already operates from Jersey to Liverpool, Glasgow and London Southend as well as a summer service to Newcastle.

British Airways is also increasing the number of flights it offers with the airway adding an extra weekday flight between Jersey and London Gatwick.

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