‘Flybe is committed, although runway has cost us millions’
Thursday 11th September 2008, 2:30PM BST.
THE States’ failure to invest in the runway has cost Flybe dearly, according to the airline. Chief commercial officer Mike Rutter said that introducing a smaller, lighter aircraft had resulted in a bill of £1.5m. to meet customer demands.
Retraining staff to work aboard the 78-seater Q400s had also cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
‘The decision to invest in the runway should have been taken in 2001,’ said Mr Rutter. ‘Guernsey taxpayers have forked out tens of millions because the States purchased Aurigny and built the new airport terminal building. It was the wrong decision.’
Flybe had intended to replace all of its 110-seat BAe 146 jets on routes into and out of Guernsey with 118-seat Embraer 195 jets. wever, the authorities have ruled the aircraft was too heavy to land fully laden on Guernsey’s runway and the airline has abandon that plan.
Instead, it has introduced the Bombardier Q400 and therefore operates five planes instead of four to cope with demand. ‘It was our desire for the island to have the Embraer 195s, but we were prevented from doing so by the airport authorities.’