Guernsey Airport based Blue Islands started providing its own ground handling services in April and the airline says moving to a self-handling model has immediately improved aircraft turnaround times.
From its Channel Islands base, the regional carrier operates under the Flybe brand, following a franchise deal between the two airlines and now operates its own check-in agents, aircraft despatchers, baggage handlers, ramp agents and several supervisory roles.
Blue Islands has fleet of five ATR aircraft and operates routes from its bases at Guernsey Airport and Jersey Airport to various destinations.
These include to Europe (Zurich, Rotterdam and Groningen) but mainly in the UK (Bristol, Southampton and London City) and it recently started new links to Liverpool, London Southend and Cornwall Newquay.
The airline has created 32 local new jobs with the creation of its own ground handling team which is now providing services to all Blue Islands operated flights at Guernsey Airport.
Blue Islands chief executive officer, Rob Veron said: “It’s an exciting time in the continued sustainable development of Blue Islands.
“The creation of our 32-strong ground team puts Blue Islands in control of many critical aspects of our flight arrival and departure processes.
“As we transitioned away from our previous handling agent, there were some operational issues out of our control. We are glad to be able to assure our customers that we are back where we need and want to be.
“2019 has been another progressive year for our business, including the addition of three new routes from Guernsey and now with our new dedicated ground handling team, Blue Islands remains focused on continuing to provide the very best value for money services to our customers travelling to and from Guernsey.”
Members of the new handling team have been put through their paces with a thorough training programme, specifically created for each ground handling discipline.
Veron added: “It has been a pleasure to welcome our newest employees into Blue Islands and I would like to thank everyone for such a tremendous team effort to ensure a smooth transition to our own handling provision at Guernsey Airport.”
Blue Islands now employs a team of 130 across its bases in Guernsey and Jersey.