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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Airline cuts back island flights
Interior Jersey Airport
Bosses hope other airlines will adopt the abandoned routes
Bosses at Jersey Airport say they are disappointed at a decision by a major airline to cut services between the island and the UK.

Thomsonfly will withdraw its flights to Luton and Cardiff from 28 October and to Doncaster from March, 2008. Coventry flights continue through next summer.

The company said its new aircraft were not commercially viable, due to the "operational limitations" at Jersey.

Its new Boeing 737-800s would require longer runways.

Routes conference

Deputy Alan Maclean, Assistant Minister for Economic Development with responsibility for Jersey Airport, saids he was disappointed with the decision but optimistic that other airlines would be keen to take over the routes.

He said: "Following a recent routes conference attended by members of the airport management team, a number of existing and potential airlines have expressed a keen interest in expanding or setting up new routes into Jersey.

"We will now work closely with those interested parties to investigate the opportunities available to us.

"Jersey is not the only airport to be affected by this decision as other regional airports, such as those served direct from Jersey - which derive material income from the airline's services - will also suffer a reduction or suspension in the number of flights."

'Tremendous growth'

Thomsonfly's commercial director, Guy Stephenson, said: "Following the merger of Thomson and First Choice to create Tui Travel, there has been a need to review the deployment of aircraft and the utilisation of those aircraft for the benefit of both businesses.

"In the process of this review, and particularly because 737-800 aircraft are not commercially viable due to the operational limitations of the airport, we have therefore had to reduce operations into Jersey airport.

"Thomsonfly has had tremendous growth in its operations to Jersey over the last four years and has built up a strong following of customers because of its reputation for low fares and good service.

"We recognise that these service reductions will have an impact on the Jersey travelling public.

"We are continuing to operate services to Coventry and Doncaster this winter from Jersey and to Coventry next summer."



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