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Blue Islands are responding to the overwhelming passenger demand on the Bristol service and will be significantly increasing the capacity on the route.
The remarkable success of the Bristol service, launched 18 months ago, means more seats are required to meet the increased demand. Capacity will increase by 140% in February 2013 when the 48 seat ATR-42 aircraft replaces the 19 seat Jetstream aircraft.
Since launching the twice daily, direct service between Bristol and Jersey, with connections to Guernsey, the route has surpassed expectations. Rob Veron, Managing Director explains, “Our Bristol service has been popular for both business and leisure travel thanks to the ideal morning and evening flight times. Since we began operating the route in April 2011, the total market has increased by 35%, with Blue Islands taking 47% of the market share. This clearly demonstrates the demand for a great schedule and the honest, transparent ‘welcome difference’ that we at Blue Islands pride ourselves on.
Bristol airport is the third largest regional airport in England outside London with a catchment of 7 million people within two hours. The airport is consistently growing and investing in their infrastructure. We’re seeing Bristol becoming the preferred choice above Cardiff and Exeter airports for passengers.”
The increased capacity also provides further opportunity for inbound tourism. Mr Veron continues “In addition to our new services to Paris and Amsterdam, the increased capacity on the Bristol service gives opportunity to further reinvigorate tourism to Jersey. Currently around 70% of the traffic through Bristol in the summer months is inbound leisure passengers. It’s vital we continue to keep Jersey on the map and transport links are key to this.”
Group Commercial Director for Ports of Jersey, Myra Shacklady, who leads the air route development team at Jersey Airport, says, “I am delighted to see an increase in capacity on the Bristol service offered by Blue Islands. Jersey has always been a popular destination for visitors from the West Country and by increasing capacity allows for a great number of passengers, both visitors and local residents alike, to experience the high level of service and benefits of travelling with Blue Islands.”
Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said “Since its introduction in 2011, the Blue Islands service has proved popular with business and leisure passengers alike. This additional capacity will enable more people to take advantage of the convenient schedule, which makes a day return possible.”
Blue Islands began operating a morning an evening flight to Bristol in April 2011 and since then have seen consistently steady increases in passenger numbers. The first flight with the ATR-42 aircraft will be on 4 February 2013. Blue Islands is totally debt free and acquiring further aircraft to operate this service.
Blue Islands awaits a confirmation of date for a public hearing regarding the Guernsey to Bristol route license application. The original application was submitted in July.
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