Aurigny Air Services (GR, Guernsey) has launched two new direct air services from Guernsey to ensure essential island connections to Birmingham Int'l and Exeter are maintained following the collapse of flybe. (BE, Exeter), according to a press statement from the airline. The Channel Islands-based carrier joins Eastern Airways (T3, Humberside) and Loganair (LM, Glasgow Int'l) in announcing replacement services previously flown by the now-defunct flybe.

The first service to Birmingham commenced on March 11 and will be operated 5x weekly initially. The 6x weekly route to Exeter started on March 12. The airline's ATR72 fleet will operate all flights. The airline also indicated that services could be expanded if the COVID-19 situation changes and demand warrants it.

"We believe that maintaining Guernsey's connectivity is key and with the collapse of flybe it is an unmissable opportunity for Aurigny to provide a valuable customer service while at the same time increasing our operation and improving our financial position," said Aurigny Chief Executive Officer Mark Darby. "Given that we are able to do this with no increase in fixed costs and with aircraft, crew and a user-friendly booking system immediately available to us we hope that this will alleviate some travel concerns that islanders may have at this time."

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Aurigny operates a fleet of eight aircraft, including one ATR72-500, three ATR72-600s, three Do228s and an E195.

In addition to earlier announcements made by Blue Islands (SI, Jersey), Eastern and Loganair, the three regional carriers have in the meantime decided to take over additional former flybe. services: