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The inaugural flight to Guernsey by Aurigny, a newly introduced airline to Leeds Bradford Airport, took to the skies today; kick-starting Yorkshire’s bank holiday getaway.

The inaugural flight to Guernsey by Aurigny, a newly introduced airline to Leeds Bradford Airport, took to the skies today; kick-starting Yorkshire’s bank holiday getaway.

Aurigny is the longest serving airline in the Channel Islands and in peak season will run four flights a week to the island of Guernsey on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This inaugural flight, which is fully booked, has been organised to coincide with one of the busiest travel days across the region, as people jet off for an extended Bank Holiday weekend break to a wide variety of destinations from Leeds Bradford Airport.

Travellers will now be able to fly locally and conveniently to Guernsey from Yorkshire's gateway airport exploring the Bailiwick island, which is well known for its stunning coastlines and wealth of outdoor activities; as well as its relaxing, French culture.

On board the inaugural flight from Leeds was John and Anne North. John’s mother, Doreen, was an evacuee who left Guernsey in June 1940, just before the German occupation. She met her “husband to be,” Douglas North, in Yorkshire while working for his firm. They married, and John was born in late 1944. He’s been travelling back to Guernsey to visit relatives every year since 1945 and he and Anne will celebrate their wedding anniversary on the island this coming Saturday. Johns said: “I live in Ilkley, which is only a few miles from Leeds Bradford Airport so I’m thrilled that Aurigny is beginning this new route. It’s going to make my trips to Guernsey so much easier.”

Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s Aviation Development Director, said: “It’s fantastic to launch this inaugural flight linking Leeds Bradford to Guernsey. We’re proud to introduce Aurigny and would like to extend a warm Yorkshire welcome to the airline. Passengers will now very much enjoy being able to travel to Guernsey directly from Leeds Bradford year round.

“This new route will also provide an important business link for the region, as businesses in Yorkshire will be able to benefit from additional connectivity with the Channel Islands. The Bank Holiday weekend is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year at Leeds Bradford and it is fitting that Aurigny are commencing their new service today. We are always focused on making sure we provide the very best service to our customers and a fantastic start to their travels, so our teams will be especially pleased to welcome Aurigny passengers through our doors for the first time.”

Malcolm Coupar, Aurigny’s Commercial Director, added: “Leeds Bradford is a welcome addition to the Aurigny network. It becomes our eighth, year round destination and customers flying to Guernsey will be able to enjoy Aurigny’s “frills” of a free 20kg hold luggage allowance and an extra 10kg as cabin baggage. We also serve com-plimentary soft drinks, or tea or coffee, en route. We started selling tickets in December and the route has gener-ated lots of interest. We’re looking forward to providing our new customers from the Leeds Bradford area and beyond direct access to the beautiful island of Guernsey and its stunning neighbouring islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney.”

Jennifer Young, of Visit Leeds, said: “We welcome the addition of the new Aurginy service between Leeds Bradford and Guernsey, which we believe will help to attract even more people to the Yorkshire region to visit our fantastic retail options, as well as popular food and drink events.

“It’s fantastic news that Leeds Bradford is continually developing routes; a great way to further boost our tourism economy.”

Mike Hopkins, Director of Marketing and Tourism at Visit Guernsey, said: “The launch of the new Leeds Bradford route provides an excellent opportunity for us to target and attract additional visitor numbers from the north and north east of England. We will be working closely with Aurigny and our tour operator partners to help maximise the potential from this new route.”

Flights will depart Leeds Bradford at 14.10 and arrive in Guernsey just before 16.00. The return flights depart Guernsey at midday, arriving back in Leeds Bradford at 13.40. From October to May, the flights will operate on Mondays and Fridays, at the same times. This will allow customers from Leeds Bradford to enjoy off season weekend breaks in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.