Aurigny Air Services

Aurigny Air Services was founded by Alderney resident Derrick Bailey in 1968 when British United Airways dropped its service between Alderney and Guernsey and it looked like his home island would lose its air link to the rest of the Bailiwick. Aurigny is actually the name of Alderney in Alderney’s local language.

Its aircraft fly in a distinctive yellow and white livery because those are the colours that the jockeys riding Bailey’s father’s race horses used to wear.

Aurigny Air Services was acquired by the States of Guernsey in 2003 to make sure its service to London Gatwick Airport could be maintained.

The entries below chart Aurigny’s history over the years. Click each heading to read the story in full.

1968: Aurigny Air Services founded

Sir Derrick Bailey founded Aurigny in February 1968. The airline flew its first passengers the following month, and carried a total of 45,000 people between the islands over the next year.

1981: An Islander aircraft crashed on Guernsey

An Aurigny inter-island flight crashed on Guernsey when its primary fuel tanks ran dry. It had started to stall on its journey from Jersey as it passed over Herm, and the pilot looked out for a field he could land in. Although the pilot was seriously hurt, the eight passengers escaped unscathed.

2003: The States of Guernsey bought Aurigny

Guernsey’s administration bought Aurigny Air Services in 2003 when British Airways announced the end of its service between the island and London Gatwick. It cost the island £5m.

2006: Blue Islands takes to the skies

Blue Islands started competing with Aurigny Air Services on inter-island routes when it came into being on 14 February 2006. It had previously been called Rockhopper.

2007: Aurigny pilot spots a UFO

Ray Bowyer was flying an Aurigny Trislander aircraft from Southampton to Alderney when he spotted a disc-shaped UFO hovering to one side of his craft. The passengers saw it, and so did the pilot of a Blue Islands aircraft over Sark.

2009: Aurigny founder Derrick Bailey died

Sir Derrick Bailey died on Alderney in June 2009. He had been a pilot during the Second World War, so it’s perhaps not surprising that he should have been the man who established Aurigny Air Services.

2013: Aurigny Trislander eats itself

A Trislander aircraft running an Aurigny service from Jersey to Guernsey was damaged when the rear propellor sliced away as some of the housing of the engine itself.

2015: G-JOEY’s last flight

G-JOEY was Aurigny’s most famous Trislander, even starring in its own series of books. After several months running sightseeing flights, it flew for the last time in June 2015.

2016: G-COBO has a bumpy flight

Passengers on Aurigny’s G-COBO aircraft had a very bumpy flight when ice began to build up on the aircraft’s wings and it was unable to maintain the height it required. It turned around and came back to Guernsey Airport.

Category: Guernsey | Other events tagged , , , , ,

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