Eastern Airways launched its new PSO route from Cornwall Airport Newquay to London Gatwick on 15 December 2021. British-Irish Airports EXPO attended a reception to welcome the inaugural service.
Eastern Airways launched its new PSO route from Cornwall Airport Newquay to London Gatwick on 15 December 2021, with a reception to welcome the inaugural service held at LGW’s Hilton Hotel. British-Irish Airports EXPO was in attendance to discuss the new route with senior executives from the airline and airports, as well as key business figures from Cornwall.
The flight was operated with one of Eastern’s ATR72-600s, fuelled with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Restoring a vital air connection, Eastern’s Cornwall to London flights increase to a day return frequency Monday to Friday from 17 January 2022, bolstered by twice-daily service on Sundays from 12 February. From the end of March, the airline will offer twice-daily Saturday services, bringing optimised flexibility for visiting friends and relatives, short breaks, as well as a convenient service for business travellers.
“Vital, missing piece in the jigsaw of connectivity”
The route provides vital year-round connectivity between Cornwall and the UK capital. “Cornwall Newquay Airport has worked tirelessly this year to restore lost regional services with several airlines stepping up to take on routes, as only our resilient sector can,” said Adam Wheatley, Managing Director, Eastern Airways. “London was the vital, missing piece in the jigsaw of connectivity, so naturally we are pleased to take on this important route, dedicating a Newquay-based aircraft and local crew. As frequency grows, we expect to employ more staff to support the route.”
Tim Jeans, Interim Director, Cornwall Airport Newquay, added: “Restoring this daily, year-round connection between Cornwall and London is an important step forward for the airport and for Cornwall. Gatwick is a fantastic link for Cornwall, not only for travel to and from the south east, but also for the onward connectivity options it provides, serving both the leisure and business markets. The link has been missed by everyone in Cornwall and it’s so important that it’s a year-round link. The economy of Cornwall, business in Cornwall depends on connectivity. We’re delighted that Eastern Airways is the operator of this route for at least the next four years and we hope for many years thereafter.”
Welcoming Eastern Airways as its latest airline customer providing new scheduled flights from Cornwall Newquay Airport, Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Gatwick Airport said: “It is very exciting to welcome the first Eastern Airways’ flight from Cornwall into Gatwick Airport today, particularly as the aircraft was fuelled with Sustainable Aviation Fuel. With smart government policy to underpin investment in cost-competitive UK SAF production, many more flights could start using SAF in coming years, which would support the aviation industry’s commitment to reach net zero carbon by 2050.”
In conversation with British-Irish Airports EXPO, Norwood added: “It’s a great day, not just for the airports but for both of our regions as well. There’s a very strong connection between the south east and south west. From our perspective, it shows another step on the road to our recovery. It’s a really important connection for business, tourism and those visiting friends and relatives.”
Key business figures from Cornwall joined the inaugural flight and celebrations for the vital link with London. Kim Conchie, Chief Executive Officer, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, explained to British-Irish Airports EXPO: “It’s often said there’s no flourishing economy in the world without a functioning airport and connectivity to London is the key route, which is why the government has given it Public Service Obligation status. It’s so important for the small, growing businesses of Cornwall that we have this link.”