Cornwall Airport Newquay will be flying into the jet age next summer – thanks to an agreement between Cornwall Council, the Department of Transport and Flybe to operate 118 seat Embraer jet aircraft on the Newquay to Gatwick route.
Cornwall Airport Newquay 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 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 (40,000 departing seats from Newquay over a 12 month period) - making air transport more accessible. The newer, more efficient aircraft will also help improve reliability and reduce journey times by 10 minutes in each direction.
Announcing details of the agreement 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."
In thanking Cornwall Council and Cornwall Airport Newquay for their support in helping meet the increased passenger demand and making the much needed upgrade on this route a reality, 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.”
Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The success of this route shows why we were determined to keep the Cornish air link with London. The larger aircraft will provide even more opportunity to showcase Cornwall to wider audiences. The government’s funding for the route continues our commitment to creating jobs and
enabling growth in our regions by improving transport connections with London.”
Al Titterington, Managing Director of Cornwall Airport Newquay, added: “The introduction of the E195 is great news for the Airport. The London-Gatwick service has grown significantly in the last few years and the additional 40 seats per flight will allow this to continue. 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”.
Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, said: “This is fantastic news. I am pleased the Department for Transport, Cornwall Council and Flybe have come to an agreement which will benefit Cornwall Airport Newquay, its users and the residents of Cornwall.
“I have been working hard in Westminster to secure support from aviation ministers to introduce the jet aircraft on the Newquay to Gatwick route, so I am extremely pleased with today’s announcement. The connection between Newquay and Gatwick is a hugely important link for both the business community and the tourism sector. The airport is already a brilliant resource for Cornwall and I hope this announcement will help the airport build on its successes”.