A GR/AUR Aurigny Air Services ATR72 G-COBO in Manchester, 2019
A GR/AUR Aurigny Air Services ATR72 G-COBO in Manchester, 2019 Credit: Riik@mctr

The unfolding economic crash of Aurigny means that an airline owned by the Isle of Man Government is now a discredited idea. According to a report by Manx Radio, “there are fears the [Aurigny] losses could escalate to around £70 million by the end of this year.” Aurigny is the airline wholly owned by the States of Guernsey, with taxpayers wholly responsible for the financial operation of the business.

“This is an unmitigated economic disaster for the taxpayers of Guernsey. Fortunately for the people of Mann, the Isle of Man Government does not own an airline, and have not suffered equivalent economic losses,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance.

According to the current Isle of Man Government budget, £70 million is enough money to pay for all the net expenditure of the Isle of Man Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture, AND the next expenditure of the Department of Home Affairs, AND the net expenditure of Tynwald – and STILL have more than enough money to fund the combined taxpayer grants to Manx Radio, Laxey Glen Mills, Culture Vannin, International Development, Sports Council, Arts Council and Manx National Heritage!

“Every Manx taxpayer should be grateful that the previous efforts by short-sighted politicians to run a Manx Government airline have failed to take off. This has now been demonstrated to be a discredited idea. The one saving grace is that this fiery crash has come onto the radar ahead of this year’s general election, taking this idea off the table for the benefit of Manx taxpayers,” said Josem.

“Our hearts must go out to our island cousins in Guernsey who have been forced to watch these losses mount. It is desperately sad and ironic that in a year that many island residents have been unable to travel, the people of Guernsey are expected to rack up losses of around £70 million for an airline.”