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Air Southwest to cease Plymouth operations

Air Southwest (ASW) has announced that they will cease operations from Plymouth City Airport with effect from 14 September 2011.

As a result of this decision Air Southwest routes from Newquay Cornwall Airport to Glasgow, Guernsey, Jersey and Manchester will end on this date, with the remaining ASW routes ceasing operations from 30 September 2011.

Eastern Airways acquired ASW in autumn 2010 with the intention of maintaining operations from Plymouth City Airport and Newquay Cornwall Airport. In a statement Eastern Airways stated that, following a detailed analysis of these routes carried out in the light of the continuing economic downturn which has badly affected the aviation industry, they would no longer operate these services to/from Newquay or any other ASW branded flights.

Newquay Cornwall Airport has been in discussion with Eastern Airways regarding services to the South West and the important role air services provide in connecting the region to the rest of the UK. However, Eastern Airways believes that, for them, these routes are not commercially viable in the current economic climate with Government imposed Air Passenger Duty being particularly onerous on domestic air services.

Al Titterington, Managing Director of Newquay Cornwall Airport said: “This decision is obviously disappointing for Newquay Cornwall Airport and the Cornish economy. The timing of this news is particularly difficult as airlines have already finalised their existing flight schedules.”

“We are currently working with a number of alternative airlines to find replacement services and are confident that these will prove successful in the future, although it is inevitable that there will be a break in some services.”

Chris Ridgers, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “The decision by Air Southwest is disappointing but we will continue to work with other airlines to maintain a variety of destinations from Newquay Cornwall Airport.”

“The airport has been very successful in developing a hub of aerospace industries at the commercial airport attracting international companies such as AgustaWestland which provide highly-paid, highly-skilled jobs for the local economy and we will continue to build on that success.”

Newquay Cornwall Airport continues to fly to London Gatwick, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Manchester, Dusseldorf and Isles of Scilly with charter holidays into Europe.