Friday, 25 October 2013

Newquay-London air link judged eligible for Government support

Good news that the Newquay to London air link has been judged by the government to be eligible for public service obligation funding. This means that it can be subsidised by the government because it is an important link which might not be commercially viable without support.

Earlier this year, the current operator of the route, FlyBe, announced that they would be ceasing the service from March next year. They said that it was not commercially viable. This put at risk Cornwall's air links with the capital. Businesses in Cornwall believe that having an air route to London is important in helping them to trade and we know of at least one firm that has said they will consider relocating away from Cornwall if the air route is lost.

Ever since the FlyBe announcement, Cornwall Council has been working hard behind the scenes to try to secure a replacement. We are still in talks with a number of potential commercial carriers for the route, but it is possible that none will decide the route is commercially viable. So we have also been talking with the government about whether the route would qualify for public service obligation status.

Ministers have now decided that it would and they will be notifying the European Commission of their decision before airlines are invited to tender to operate the service. This process will take at least two months.

Nothing is certain yet, but the council will continue to work as hard as possible to keep the London link.


Bryan Gynn said...

This is important positive news for Cornwall as a whole, and an indication of just how much effect our local political voice here in Cornwall, is having on central government. I know for a fact that Adam has been instrumental in this but would comment that when politicians and councilors work together for the common good, our local community benefits as a whole. This is another positive step to help Cornwall attract the high quality employers it so badly needs, and deserves. Well done.

John Conway said...

Not all businesses in Cornwall benefit from Newquay. Exeter is a brilliant airport and always my first choice. Newquay is a white elephant and should be disposed of at the earliest opportunity