Blue Islands challenges airline regulator over Waves

Posted: 04/12/2017

Blue Islands has begun legal proceedings against the States of Guernsey’s regulatory body, the Transport Licensing Authority, claiming its new rival Waves should have a local air transport licence to fly passengers.

According to reports in the Jersey Evening Post and Guernsey Press, Waves has marketed itself as an air taxi service that is exempt from such a licence because it is an ‘on-demand service with flight times requested and booked by the individual traveller’.

However, Blue Islands argues that Waves is not an air taxi because it sells individual seats to customers; it has been marketing seats for sale on flights that have no passengers booked on them; and the destination – Guernsey or Jersey – is specified by the airline, not the customer.

To qualify for an air taxi exemption, a plane should be ‘hired by the customer for the purposes of a journey to a particular destination specified by the customer’, the airline added.

Blue Islands said in a statement: ‘For many months, Blue Islands have repeatedly written to the chair of the Transport Licensing Authority, and have not received any adequate response. 

‘The decision to call for a judicial review is intended to compel the authority to act to uphold the law it is meant to enforce, and protect the travelling public from an operator acting outside of the rules.’ 

The TLA said it had been asked to consider certain matters regarding the services offered by Waves, but after Friday’s proceedings, it could not comment further.

Waves has said it does not operate as a scheduled airline, and does not offer timetables or schedules for inter-island flights. ‘Passengers wishing to book a flight with Waves must call or email the customer service team and request the destination, date and time they wish to travel,’ it said in November.

Waves CEO Nick Magliocchetti said this week: “The appeal by Blue Islands to the States of Guernsey’s Transport Licensing Authority for a judicial review of our air taxi licence is a matter for the TLA to comment on, not us.”   


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