FLIGHTS have begun on a new route between Southampton Airport and the Channel Island of Guernsey.

The launch will be followed this week by the start of a new service to Jersey.

Aurigny is between the city and Guernsey twice a day during the week and daily at weekends.

Guernsey’s state-owned airline said the launch of the route “further cements Aurigny’s commitment to Southampton Airport”.

Its chief executive, Mark Darby, said: ““By launching this new route, we aim to offer our customers choice, with fantastic fares from £59.98 return.

“Uniquely, Aurigny also offers 15 per cent discount for kids of 15 and under and customers can earn award points by joining our frequent flyer scheme. Only Guernsey’s own airline offers this combination of benefits when flying to and from the islands.

“Our flight schedule offers convenient times whatever your reason for travel is.

“I have already been delighted by the positive reception we have received from Southampton Airport and with our newly expanded team of experienced and customer-friendly Aurigny ground staff, we will be able to offer the Aurigny customer experience from start to finish on this route.”

Aurigny already flies to Alderney from Southampton.

Neil Garwood, managing director at Southampton Airport, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate the launch of the new Guernsey route with Aurigny, which reinforces our position as the very best gateway to the Channel Islands.

“We look forward to further nurturing our excellent relationship with Aurigny and will continue to work with the airline to offer the best customer experience to our passengers.”

To celebrate the launch, passengers on the opening day received a slice of cake pus goodie bags with gifts supplied by Southampton Airport, Aurigny and Visit Guernsey.

Aurigny says it hopes the new route will be popular with Guernsey locals and those travelling to it from a “convenient and user-friendly airport”.

The airline is due to start its twice-daily route between Guernsey and Jersey this week.

Aurigny has said the new routes will help meet the objective set for it by the States of Guernsey to reach a break-even position.

The routes are being with one of the airline’s existing, leased ATR aircraft.

In the first announcement of the new routes earlier this year, Mr Darby said: “We will be offering weekday morning and evening flights on both new routes, giving customers the choice of a day return to either destination and convenient times for business, medical and leisure passengers.”

He said the routes had been “worked on for many months” and only recently approved.

Last year, Southampton Airport published a “master plan” which could enable its annual passenger numbers to grow from two million last year to four million in 2027 and five million a decade after that.