The future of direct flights between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London Gatwick has been secured for a further four years.
The Government and Cornwall Council made the announcement today (Oct 1) that the Public Service Obligation (PSO) will be extended. PSO routes are used to subsidise vital air connections and economic and social development in peripheral regions, where a clear business case is put forward.
Once again operated by Flybe, the Cornwall Airport Newquay to London Gatwick service will continue to see daily flights between the two airports, with three return flights on weekdays and two per day at weekends.
Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, said: “Cornwall Airport Newquay is an example of one of our thriving regional aviation hubs, playing a vital role in connecting communities, boosting tourism and unlocking economic growth.
“Continuing to support this key route between Cornwall and London demonstrates our commitment to creating transport links across the UK which put the needs of passengers first.”
Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “This is a vital link between Cornwall and London which has to be maintained. Thanks to the Council’s continued investment in Cornwall Airport Newquay, growth continues with around 460,000 passengers using the Airport in 2017, making it the best year ever and making it the fastest growing airport outside of London.
“Today’s announcement is good news for Cornwall. If this service was lost, £50 million could be wiped from Cornwall’s economy with the potential loss of airport and other jobs. We will have continuity of service with Flybe being confirmed as the operator. Once again securing the direct service is a boost for Cornwall’s communities, businesses and the economy. It will enable Cornwall to do business with the rest of the world – and the rest of the world to do business with Cornwall.”
Airport MD, Al Titterington, added: “The extension of the PSO contract with Flybe secures our primary connection between Cornwall and London for another 4 years. The demand for this route continues to grow year on year and the support from the Government and Cornwall Council provides a guarantee for this vital access route to and from Cornwall.”
Mark Duddridge, chair of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This announcement will be warmly welcomed by the business community and ensures that Cornwall remains connected to a major airport hub. Connectivity is vital to our economy and having a healthy commercial airport helps underpin our wider space and aerospace ambitions. This is great news.”