Statement by IOSSG Chairman Andrew May from the last set of statutory accounts (Year to 31 Mar 17, page 2, 6th para) .
Highlighted in last year's statement was the degree of importance the Board attaches to a number of vital elements of our scheduled services specifically; resilience, reliability, affordability and accessibility. To this list the Board has added the issue of capacity. We recognise that, within the bounds defined by the nature of the Islands' relatively niche market, the Steamship Company must strive to have seats available for all who would wish to occupy them on our ships and aeroplanes, on the day and indeed at the time of day that they wish to travel. These issues have been brought into sharp focus by the recent public debate around the proposal to introduce a helicopter services between Cornwall and the Islands and, separately, the proposal for a new heliport at Penzance.
Perhaps a more accurate version would read…
‘Vital elements of our scheduled services are resilience, reliability, affordability and accessibility and we have failed on all of them. Resilience and reliability of the air services are no better with the helicopter and, with 29% of flying days having faced disruption last winter, the Scillonian appears to be getting cancelled 48 hours before sailing even if the weather improves thereafter. The nature of the Islands’ relatively niche market is that we can charge what we like – that is affordability for those who can, and the rest can go hang as there is not enough capacity anyway. We need the money anyway to pay for the £4.5m wasted on the Mali Rose and the £2m we are likely to loose on my vanity project, the helicopter. The proposal to introduce our helicopter service and our outright opposition to any competition through a new heliport at Penzance is justified since our stranglehold monopoly hold on transport is clearly threatened.
We are sure that our loyal customers will prefer our own helicopter service, if and when it is given all the necessary permissions to fly as a scheduled service, and enjoy the delights of that winding road journey from Penzance and the long hours or days at our own Lands End airport in the knowledge that fog affects fixed wing and helicopters equally. How could they possibly change to a competing service from a brand new heliport in Penzance, much less affected by fog and convenient for onward transport, assuming that we have not been able to prevent its construction by adopting the aggressive planning techniques so well known to supermarkets determined to preserve their monopolies in a particular area!
You can download the full IOSSG statutory accounts at Companies House here .