Air Southwest drops London route

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Air Southwest is pulling out of its daily Newquay to London Gatwick route.

The airline had operated four daily flights to Gatwick, but will cease the service out of both Newquay and Plymouth airports from February 1.

The news leaves Flybe as the only carrier linking Cornwall with the capital all year round. Ryanair pulled out in 2009, while Air Southwest dropped its twice-daily flight to London City last year.

Fears that businessmen will be unable to fly to London and back in a day and still carry out a full day’s business have been allayed, however. Previously the last Flybe flight back from Gatwick departed at 16.35, but from February 1, Flybe’s last link will leave at 20.10 (Tues-Sun).

Stephen Gilbert, MP for St Austell & Newquay, said: “Recent years have seen Newquay Airport go from strength to strength and Air Southwest has played a key role in driving that process.

“There’s no doubt this announcement will come as a blow to Cornwall’s economy and tourist industry especially as we are entering the spring and summer and in light of the business investment which is happening right now across Cornwall.

“I hope that all the people involved will work together over the coming weeks and months to ensure that this vital link is not lost for good and that other airlines will be able to step in and fill any gaps left by Air Southwest’s departure.”

Air Southwest said the rest of its schedule remains unaffected.

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1 COMMENT

  1. For 18 months I have been travelling weekly from Newquay along with many others on the Monday morning flight and back on the Thursday night after working in London. Prior to travelling into Gatwick I used to take the London City flight. I must admit that the flights I take (albeit they will more likely be the busier) are almost always full so from my prospective I find this decision somewhat of a mystery. My only hope is that Flybe will see this as a business opportunity to expand as even in these economically depressed times there is still a very healthy market for the service, although without competition it will be interesting to see what happens to the cost of flights over the next 12 months. As for Plymouth, it is not a particularly pleasant experience flying from the airport. The runway is restrictive and security is always undermanned. In my experience many of the delays for flights out of Newquay are as a consequence of issues at Plymouth. I think the writing has been ‘on the wall’ for Plymouth Airport for sometime, my hope is that Cornwall County will support Newquay Airport so that we retain a viable air connection in the South West.

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