Cornwall Council has welcomed the support from MP Stephen Gilbert in backing its negotiations with airlines to secure scheduled flights from Newquay Cornwall Airport to London.
The Council has been in detailed negotiations with a number of airlines, including Easyjet, since the announcement by Flybe in May that it had sold its landing and takeoff slots at London Gatwick.
Adam Paynter, the Council’s cabinet member for partnerships, said “We have been talking to a number of airlines about operating scheduled flights from Newquay to London from 29 March 2014 and have left them in no doubt as to the importance of this link to the economy of Cornwall.
“As well as encouraging leisure travel to and from Cornwall, it is vital that businesses have the ability to travel to London. This has become increasingly important following the development of the Enterprise Zone which has seen a significant growth in the number of businesses which are establishing themselves at the airport and in Cornwall.”
“Cornwall Council is committed to doing everything it can to maintain these air links,” added Jeremy Rowe, deputy leader of Cornwall Council. “Newquay Cornwall Airport contributes around £23 million to the Cornish economy and the support from businesses is crucial.
“Over the past four months we have held a number of meetings with the airlines and remain hopeful that we will be able to reach agreement. We welcome the support from Stephen Gilbert in helping to emphasise the importance of this route to Cornwall.”
The Council’s ongoing negotiations with airlines have also been backed by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, whose chairman Chris Pomfret said: “Transport links are the key barrier to business development in Cornwall. If we want to see the economy flourish a regular link to a major hub airport is critical.”
It has been widely reported that Easyjet will maintain the Gatwick route when is assumes the Flybe slots next March, although there has been no official confirmation from the airline.