Guernsey's Aurigny airline accused of 'sharp practice'

Dave Jones
Image caption Deputy Jones said government should not be associated with "sharp practices"

A senior Guernsey politician has accused the island's government-owned airline of "sharp practices".

Deputy Dave Jones made his comments in response to a complaint by a visitor about Aurigny's credit card charges.

In an email, copied to 40 deputies and the island's media, Deputy Jones said charges should not apply to both legs of a journey following one transaction.

In a statement, Aurigny said it would welcome regulation to limit charges.

Roger Edwards, who has been visiting the Bailiwick for 30 years, contacted politicians and the media after the airline began charging for the online use of cards.

"States-owned Aurigny seems to be joining the 'rip-off fraternity' of other airlines," he said.

"A booking for two people of £172 attracts a whopping £16 (9.3%) surcharge for paying by credit card."

'Universal agreement'

Deputy Jones said: "I think we as a government should not be associated with these kinds of sharp practices."

Deputy Charles Parkinson, who, as Treasury and Resources Minister, holds Aurigny's shares on behalf of the States, said it was a matter for the airline's management.

He said: "The charges made by Aurigny are an operational matter, and Treasury and Resources leaves such matters to the board of the company".

Malcolm Coupar, Aurigny's commercial director, defended the charges.

"Experience has taught us that if we try to market fares that are 'fully inclusive', the difference between our displayed prices and those of our competitors that charge for payments is too great and we lose business," he said.

"A universal agreement on charges would remove this problem."

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