Cornwall Airport Newquay will be flying into the jet age next summer – thanks to an agreement between Cornwall Council, the Department for Transport and Flybe, to operate 118-seat Embraer jet aircraft on the Newquay to Gatwick route.
The airport has seen a 16% increase in the number of passengers using the Newquay to Gatwick route since the introduction of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) last year.
All partners have been keen to build on this growth by replacing the existing turbo prop aircraft with the Embraer jet which, they say, will improve reliability, increase capacity, reduce journey times and improve passenger comfort on the route.
The larger jet will provide an additional 40 seats per flight, equating to 40,000 departing seats from Newquay over a 12-month period. The newer, more efficient aircraft will also help improve reliability and reduce journey times by ten minutes in each direction.
Adam Paynter, the Council’s Cabinet member for resources, said: “The success of the PSO service has meant that passengers have sometimes struggled to get tickets for some flights. We know that this service is hugely important for businesses in Cornwall, with a large number of people regularly using the route to travel to and from London.
“I am sure that the business community will welcome the increased number of seats and reduced journey times provided by the new jet aircraft.
“Introducing this change has meant amending the current PSO agreement, however, and I would like to thank the Department for Transport and Flybe for working with us to achieve this. “
Flybe CEO, Saad Hammad, added “This is great news today. Flybe is committed to providing the people of Cornwall and surrounding area with a fast, reliable and affordable air link to the Capital as well as opportunities for onward connections.”
Airport MD, Al Titterington, said: “The introduction of the E195 is great news for the airport.
“The airport has had double digit growth for the last couple of years and increased capacity on the E195 will ensure that passenger numbers grow significantly again next year.”