Posted on: 06 April 2011 by Mark Howells
Aurigny’s longest serving member of staff, Maurice Wyatt, station manager for the airline at Southampton, has celebrated 40 years with the company.
Wyatt joined the fledgling airline in 1971 after working as an air traffic control assistant and believes there have been great changes in the industry over the past 40 years. ‘The terminal in Southampton has completely changed from what was a bunch of old World War One hangars to a very modern international airport. The old hangars used to leak like a sieve whenever it rained,” he explained.
“When I started work here we operated eight-seater Islanders, there was no such thing as security checks and we had to weigh passengers before they boarded. Some passengers didn’t mind but some weren’t so keen. We don’t do that anymore and security has become one of the most important things we do now,” Wyatt continued. ‘We were all on a fairly steep learning curve and were unfamiliar to our passengers, many of whom are still flying with us today. We’ve been growing older together and I like to feel we have a really strong bond with them. They all want a friendly, reliable and relaxed service, which I hope we have always managed to achieve.
“For first-time travellers to Alderney we are an unknown quantity. Once they have experienced our Trislander service they feel that it is how flying should be,’ he added.
In tribute, Aurigny’s managing director Malcolm Hart remarked, “Maurice has been the backbone of our Southampton operation for many years and his contribution to Aurigny’s success has been immense. So much so that we might let him retire in another 40 years!’