The public service obligation (PSO) will continue a link which contributes millions of pounds to the Cornwall and South West economies. The government is providing £2.5 million in addition to £300,000 from Cornwall Council. Three flights each way will take place during the week with two weekend rotations. Around 100,000 passengers use the route every year for work or leisure. Flybe will operate the flights with the timings providing a convenient schedule for a full working day at either destination.
A crucial transport link between the South West and London has been secured after the Department for Transport announced a four year funding deal for flights between Newquay and London Gatwick airport.
UK Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“Keeping our regions connected with London is a vital part of our long term economic plan. That is why we have worked so hard with Cornwall Council to protect the route to Newquay and make sure we do all we can to support the local area.
“Fast, frequent flights to the South West will unlock access to stunning landscapes and skilled businesses, benefiting the region and the UK as a whole.”
Commenting Sarah Newton said:
‘‘After months of hard work with the Minister and the transport team at Cornwall Council it is very welcome to see Government funding committed to secure the future of the Cornwall to London air link. This route is vital for businesses in Cornwall, and the jobs they support, and I am delighted that we can look forward to regular flights for the next four years.’’
The Regional Air Connectivity fund was announced by the government in June 2013. The fund is being used to maintain important regional air connections. The government doubled the size of the fund to £20 million per year in the 2014 Budget.