Aurigny’s lifeline Gatwick route has continued to deliver record passenger numbers over the last three months, as the airline gets ready to introduce its own team of staff at the London airport.
The route carried more than 88,500 passengers during these months (August-October), which is the highest number it has ever carried during this period.
After carrying over 31,200 passengers to and from the London Gatwick in August – a record month for any Aurigny route – there were further positive figures in September and October.
September saw the Gatwick route serve over 30,000 passengers, a record number for that month and an increase of 1,300 compared to 2016.
In October, a traditionally quieter month, the route carried over 28,500 passengers, up a further 1,000 passengers on 2016.
Aurigny Commercial Director Malcolm Coupar said:
“It’s great to see this high level of travel continuing month-on-month and it looks like we are going to have a really strong end to the year, with bookings up for both November and December. From April to the end of October we have seen over 8,000 extra passengers on the Gatwick route compared to the same period last year – up by around 4%.
“With growing numbers, we have recently increased capacity to and from Gatwick, with extra Saturday flights this winter, and these have really proved popular with our customers. This continued higher level of travel to and from Guernsey is not only important for the airline, but really positive news for the island, and the economy. It’s great to see the route, in both directions, going from strength-to-strength, thanks to the ongoing support from our customers.”
In another important step to enhance the service, Aurigny is now completing final training with its new team of staff at London Gatwick, ahead of next month’s launch of the airline’s ground handling operations at the London airport.
At the beginning of December, the team of over 20 Aurigny staff begin ground operations at the London airport, so customers will be able to deal directly with the airline throughout their journey.
Mr Coupar said:
“With the Gatwick route growing in popularity, we see this as a really big step in providing the very best level of service to our customers. It will help us improve the way we handle disruption, improve our customer service and ensure we give our customers the very best possible experience. “This can only help to maintain the growth on this popular route, a lifeline link for the island.”
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EXCLUSIVE: Post Office WILL CLOSE whatever consultation says
A source within the Post Office has revealed that despite a public consulation coming up, the decision to close the current location has already been made.
Despite press releases and statements from the head office of the Post Office asking residents to express their views over the ‘proposed’ closure, it now appears that whatever views come through, a decision of whether to close the site has already been determined.
Speaking to CN24, the source said that all the consultation will look at is ‘how’ the change of venue will work, not ‘if’ or ‘should’ it happen.
“it is an utter betrayal” – Leader of Crawley Council
This will come as a shock to many in the area who rely heavily on the services that are currently offered and will put in doubt any faith over public consultations.
In a letter aimed at the management of the Post Office and sent to CN24, one resident, Mrs Elmer from Tilgate has expressed her views over the proposed closure.
“I am extremely concerned about the possible closure of Crawley Post Office.
I find it very worrying that in a town with a population of over 106,000 the management is considering popping it into a shop in the shopping mall.
The fact that one always has to queue to be served because it is so busy, even though it has at least five stations of service as well as several self service positions, a parcel counter, an external parcel collection office plus a fully trained staff, how is all of that going to fit into WH Smith’s in the Mall?
To park in the Mall you have to pay.
It is not an easy shop to get to, you have to walk half the length of the Mall to get there.
It is not a very large shop and it has a quite dismal atmosphere.
Disabled people would not be able to reach it very easily.
To carry out all the functions the current post office does it would have to enlarge the premises half as much again.
Working on the assumption that it would work on the same premise that the local one in Tilgate does, it will take a month of Sundays to carry out the same amount of work the real post office does.
Will all the staff move over to continue the secure work they carry out?
Please have a serious look at the situation before making a huge mistake.
But it now seems that this will fall on deaf ears. CN24 contacted the Post Office press team where a member verbally confirmed that the consultation would be about access to the new site.
Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb said:
“It is clear now that this was only ever a public relations exercise. For the thousands of people who will be disadvantaged by this it is an utter betrayal.”
Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:
“The planned post office DOWNGRADE which their PR department is marketing as a move, is bad for the staff, bad for the customers and bad for the town in general.
Our main post office will no longer be able to offer Crown Services going forward and nobody I’ve spoken to is ok with it. I would strongly urge the post office not to go ahead with this.”
A Post Office spokesperson said:
“We would really value and welcome any feedback and comments from you, our customers that can help inform our plans to make changes to Crawley Post Office, particularly on issues like accessibility. And are there any wider other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed move? Please do let us know.
“However, the element of our plans that we not seeking feedback is the principle of franchising a branch. This is because the change of management at Crawley Post Office to one that is operated by a retail partner rather than Post Office directly is a commercial decision, and we believe it is the right one in order to sustain Post Office services in communities – not just today, but for the long term too.”
Crawley MP Henry Smith said:
“I’ve got accessibility concerns with the Post Office’s proposals to move their current Boulevard counters to WHSmith’s in County mall and have written to its management to raise these.
If it turns our their consultation – officially still open – is a sham then I will be raising the issue in Parliament.”