Guernsey-Gatwick route 'needs competition'

Rupert Dorey
Image caption Rupert Dorey said competition was needed on the lifeline route

Competition is needed on the Guernsey-Gatwick route to meet demands at peak times, according to the island's Chamber of Commerce.

Proposals to change licensing policy to safeguard the existing service were due to be debated by the States next week.

From March States-owned Aurigny would be the sole operator if Easyjet's bid to fly the route was refused.

Rupert Dorey, chamber president, said at peak times there was already "insufficient capacity" to meet demand.

He said with just Aurigny on the route "capacity would drop from just over 500,000 to 420,000 seats a year".

Mr Dorey said: "The inference is with reduced overall capacity and without further competition the incidence of high frequency choke points is going to be very apparent."

The chamber has urged deputies to reject the plans to take impact on existing operators into account on any decision relating to granting a licence on the Guernsey-Gatwick route.

Mr Dorey said the existing system already allowed the licensing board to review each application on merit so there was no need for additional controls.

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