Crisis for Cornwall and West Devon. Planned loss of links at Newquay Airport.

Monday 23rd September 2013

If, as planned, the three times daily air link from Gatwick to Newquay stops at the end of next March, Cornwall and West Devon will be entirely dependent on surface travel to and from London.

The effects on the business community (and the knock-on consequences to area as a whole) will be catastrophic.  As one senior Cornishman has put it "when the country gets a cold, in the south west we get pneumonia".  Truro is 275 miles from central London by road.  The train services are not the quickest (and are expensive).  Return travel in a day is far from practical by either means.

The history of air services to Cornwall is interesting.  In 1977 Brymon Airways introduced a twice daily 50-seat service into Heathrow from Newquay, with Plymouth added in the early 1980s and up to five daily rotations.  Plymouth enjoyed a short boom.  BA brought the airline and took over the Heathrow slots with Brymon's successor Air South West concentrating on Gatwick.

Flybe, seeing the success of the route, then went non-stop Gatwick - Newquay, killing off Air South West and Plymouth Airport. Sadly Flybe has now sold its entire slot allocation at Gatwick saying that its owners do not make it viable for smaller aircraft operators to use the airport.  Newquay and seven other routes were due to go, but strong parliamentary representation from Inverness seems to have saved that operation.  Jersey and Guernsey have no voice at Westminster.  A slight light at the end of the tunnel is that Flybe is under new and perhaps more enlightened management.  Newquay is not completely off the Flybe map.
To read the full article click on the following link to BTN.

http://www.btnews.co.uk/article/6807

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