Guernsey’s Aurigny Airlines is working on an ambitious plan to return to profitability by 2023. After doubling its losses in 2020, the carrier is looking to cut its fleet and become more efficient in the future. The plan could see the airline retire even further aircraft types and become an ATR-only fleet. Let’s find out more.
According to the BBC, Aurigny Airlines has drawn plans to turn around the airline and turn a profit by 2023. The state-backed flag carrier hopes to achieve this by bringing down its costs substantially, mainly through maintenance, fleet reduction, and securing more slots at key airports like London Gatwick.
Today, Aurigny Air operates a fleet of eight aircraft, but these are split into three different types. This consists of four ATR 72s, three Dornier Do-228s, and one Embraer E190. The split fleet has become a major maintenance and operational burden for the airline, with maintenance accounting for nearly 20% of the carrier’s spending in 2019, double that of other carriers.
Aurigny Air has a reason for such a small yet diverse fleet, with each aircraft serving a certain purpose. The Do-228s operate public service flights to Alderney from Guernsey and Southampton, while the E190 is used almost exclusively to London Gatwick and some other hubs. Meanwhile, the ATR 72s serve all other routes.
However, Aurigny Air wants to change all this.
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CEO Nico Bezuidenhout has spoken out about becoming a far more efficient airline, which starts with fleet changes. He hopes to move to an all-ATR 72 fleet in the coming years, which will reduce costs dramatically.
This will be achieved in two ways. For one, Aurigny Air is hoping to secure more slots at Gatwick, allowing it to fly multiple ATR services instead of the E190. The second is to consider a runway expansion at Alderney Airport, allowing it to receive the larger ATR instead of just the Do-228. While both of these are still in the works, they could occur with the right business case.
All of this is in pursuit of reducing the losses from £28 million ($38.76mn) in 2020, up from £9.7mn in 2019 ($13.4mn), to zero in the next year or so. It won’t be an easy task, but the taxpayer-backed airline is committed to the changes in the near future.
Better for passengers
All of these cost cuts might sound scary for passengers of the airline. However, instead, Aurigny Airlines is planning to actually grow its reach by partnering with other carriers in the near future. Moreover, the carrier also hopes to become more affordable on its routes to reach the most passengers. For now, the airline has a long way to go in a short span to meet these commitments.
What do you think Aurigny Airlines’ plan to turn around the carrier? Let us know in the comments!