Flybe is doubling the number of its daily Newquay/Gatwick flights for “an initial two week period”, in response to the severing of the train link at Dawlish.
From this Wednesday (February 12), the airline will operate six weekday flights between Newquay Cornwall and London Gatwick airports.
It will do so for an initial two week period whilst demand for the new schedule is monitored and assessed.
Paul Simmons, Flybe’s chief commercial officer, said: “Flybe fully appreciates the enormous economic cost to the region of losing its rail services, an untenable situation that looks likely to impact the region severely for at least six weeks and possibly even longer.
“This additional capacity from Newquay to Gatwick is very good news and will be warmly welcomed by the business community”
“Flybe’s regional model means that, at this time of travel crisis which is placing huge pressure on the West Country’s industry and commerce sectors and on leisure and business travel, we are well placed to be able to step in quickly and provide a fast and convenient travel solution.
“We also commit to maintaining our normal pricing mechanism. We have no wish to take advantage of this very difficult situation by inflating fares and can assure our customers that our fares’ policy will be managed in exactly the same way as always.”
Chris Pomfret, Chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “This additional capacity from Newquay to Gatwick is very good news and will be warmly welcomed by the business community given the current state of the railway line at Dawlish.
“But it is only a short-term measure which is why we will continue to lobby Ministers hard for substantive investment in the region’s road and railway infrastructure and for a Public Service Obligation to safeguard our London hub airlinks in the longer term.”
Newquay Cornwall Airport MD, Al Titterington said: “The current situation regarding the disruption to train services which have been affected by the weather, is causing major travel issues for people in the south west.
“Over the last 48 hours we’ve been working closely with Flybe to see how we can increase the capacity on the London Link. The confirmation of Flybe operating the additional flights to and from Newquay to Gatwick is well received and will certainly go some way to alleviating the current headaches travellers are experiencing.
“With flight times of around an hour and the convenience of the Gatwick Express in to London Victoria, we expect travellers who need to get to the capital to appreciate the additional flexibility these flights will offer.”