Cornwall Airport Newquay (CAN) has gained its first Heathrow Airport connection as passengers will from 31 March next year be able to fly with Flybe on a Bombardier 78-seat Q400 turboprop to the UK hub.
The regional carrier, subject of much discussion after revealing a poor set of financial figures last week, will fly the sector four times a week and has switched the route to Heathrow from London Gatwick Airport.
CAN managing director, Al Titterington said: “We have been working for many years to make sure that CAN has direct access to Europe’s busiest hub, and with this new service it opens not just a connection to the UK’s leading gateway, but also the world.”
He added: “By having direct flights to Heathrow, it grows the strength of Newquay and Cornwall’s brand abroad, which is great for the local business community and those wanting to visit our beautiful county.”
The route to Heathrow will replace the airline’s existing link to London Gatwick, with Flybe’s current operation to the capital operating under a Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement.
Titterington said in the first eight months of 2018, over 119,000 passengers flew between CAN and Gatwick, a 12.8 per cent increase over the same period of 2017.
He added: “While the Gatwick service will switch to Heathrow, the increased demand shows that CAN needs more services to the capital, and with Flybe offering up to four daily flights to Heathrow, up from three at the moment to Gatwick, we will be giving passengers an extra nine weekly departures to choose from.”
Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye said: “We are delighted to secure a more regular service to Newquay, connecting exporters from Cornwall to global markets through Heathrow and making it easier for inward investors, tourists and students from all over the world to get there.
“Following the successful launch in 2016 of an Inverness service, the UK’s two furthest mainland airports will now be connected to the UK’s biggest port.”
Flybe chief commercial officer, Roy Kinnear said: “We are naturally delighted to offer customers the opportunity to fly with us between Cornwall Newquay Airport and London Heathrow on this new route with its increased frequency to London four times a day, seven days a week.
“The decision confirms that Flybe is a vital part of the UK’s transport infrastructure.
“We not only specialise in connecting regional communities throughout the UK. We also offer the added opportunity for business and leisure travellers to conveniently travel onwards to the rest of the world using the many global services offered by other carriers operating to and from large international airport hubs, such as Heathrow.
“We look forward to this new service to London proving popular with its increased frequency and improved opportunities for inbound and outbound connectivity with many other parts of the world – and to welcoming many new passengers on board next year.”