Amy Smith, Marketing and Communications Manager at Cornwall Airport Newquay, talks about the growth in passenger numbers, some of the new routes and airlines coming to Cornwall in 2016 and the recent rebrand of the Airport to put Cornwall at the heart of its identity.
The importance of Cornwall retaining its airport has been proven time and again – from keeping our businesses connected to the capital when the train line went down at Dawlish in 2014, to the £54.5m annual contribution of GVA to the economy of Cornwall and IOS that the airport provides.
By developing strategic air links to support both business and tourism, the airport has seen double-digit growth for the past two years and with a raft of new routes launching this Spring, is preparing to welcome even more passengers in 2016.
Our recent rebrand to Cornwall Airport Newquay is important to us and our plans for the future. We wanted to develop our brand in a way that would both represent Cornwall and be identified with Cornwall. Our aim is to continue to develop services that benefit people right across Cornwall, from better connectivity for our businesses to further support of our inbound tourism industry and economy.
The future success and growth of the airport will in part rely on developing more inbound routes from key markets to boost tourism and associated economic value to Cornwall. Take, for example, Germany. Cornwall has a strong brand in Germany but until now only limited direct connectivity, with just a once weekly service from Dusseldorf. In addition to this for 2016, there is the twice weekly service from Frankfurt-Hahn and we hope to continue growing on this German demand for access to Cornwall with more German connections in the coming years. Putting Cornwall at the heart of our brand plays a key part in this.
In terms of the outbound connectivity for both the business and leisure markets within Cornwall, the Airport also has some great “good news” stories this year. March 27th saw the removal of the £5 Airport Development Fee and April sees the return to Cornwall of Ryanair with a direct “Sun” route to Alicante in addition to the Frankfurt-Hahn route. A key route for the business community in Cornwall is the 3 times daily Flybe service to and from London Gatwick and with the recent introduction of the Embraer 195, an additional capacity of 40,000 seats has been added to this route annually.
The other big news for the airport this year is the much improved service between Cornwall and Dublin with Aer Lingus. Back for its second year, the service sees an equal split between inbound tourism to Cornwall and outbound travel to Ireland and has returned with a significantly higher frequency and season length than in 2015, helping to further support Cornwall’s connectivity and economy.
Changing our name to Cornwall Airport Newquay is about us showing our commitment to becoming the premier gateway for travel to and from Cornwall. To working together with the tourism sector in Cornwall to take brand Cornwall out to new and wider audiences. To be proud to represent Cornwall and all it has to offer and to show our commitment to benefitting Cornwall and its people with the services that we offer and strive to offer in the future.
As a commercial business we recognised the need to evolve our brand in this way in order to achieve what we want to achieve for Cornwall. By proactively rebranding our business we can take advantage of the opportunities associated with the strength of brand Cornwall and be in the strongest possible position to play a key part in the future success of Cornwall.
Cornwall Airport Newquay is expecting to welcome 375,000 passengers in 2016, an increase from 250,000 in 2015.