The inaugural British Airways flight from London Heathrow landed at Cornwall Airport Newquay on Friday evening (July 24).

Passengers stepping off the plane were welcomed to the Duchy with a special Cornish gift.

The flights will operate year-round, initially three times per week in July, increasing to five times per week in August, and daily from September.

Meanwhile, the Unite union has called upon the Government to approve a two-year £5 million bridging loan for the airport, to help it manage through the pandemic.

Unite regional officer, Deborah Hopkins, said: “The return of flights from Newquay to Heathrow is a step in the right direction and a much-needed shot in the arm for Cornwall’s domestic and international connectivity following the lockdown.

“Newquay Airport is a crucial economic hub for Cornwall and the south west and is pivotal to the organisations and businesses based around it. The airport has a bright future ahead, but without urgent support from the Department of Transport in the form of a £5 million two-year loan its post-pandemic recovery remains in-doubt.

“Unite members have worked hard to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies at Newquay Airport to a third of initial predictions, making very difficult personal sacrifices to protect the future of the airport and Cornwall’s economy.

“Now it is time for transport minister Grant Shapps to play his part and urgently approve this loan, which when compared to the economic benefit it will bring is extremely modest.

“Not to do so would be an act of grave economic vandalism against the people of Cornwall and the south west.”