Eastern Airways is to start serving the key London market from Cornwall Airport Newquay to London Gatwick in collaboration with the UK Government and Cornwall Council.
Image copyright Brad Simpson / courtesy Teeside Airport Movements
The new service operating into the major London Gatwick hub will operate daily from 15th December before increasing to double daily year-round from mid-January, helping restore regional connectivity from Cornwall and South West Devon to the UK capital.
In offering London Gatwick as the London airport option, a significant number of onward connecting services are opened up in addition to serving the UK’s most sought after break location of Cornwall year-round, achieving improved speed of accessibility also essential for business.
The news has been met with great excitement as a hugely positive and essential link for Cornwall by many businesses given the importance of fast access to London and also the vital regional economic stimulus this offers the tourism and leisure sectors. This now provides Cornwall as the major attraction for UK staycations with flight connectivity from London compared to slow and time consuming surface transport options.
Flights will operate initially daily to help quickly restore connections before Christmas and the New Year. This increases to fourteen flights each way a week, operating double-daily round-trips timed to allow a full day in London or Cornwall. The service will operate on low-emission regional turbo-prop aircraft also ensuring the route is delivered as a lower carbon environmentally sustainable option. This supports both the airport and airline’s strategies towards sustainability, while offering a fast, convenient and hassle-free way of travelling for varied lengths of stay, with flights taking little over an hour.
Robert Courts MP, Minister for Aviation, Maritime & Security - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State - Department for Transport (DfT), commented: “We're maintaining these vital transport links, including the hugely popular London to Dundee and the reinstated Newquay to London routes, for people right across the country for tourism and business travel.
"The Government is fully behind UK regional connectivity and strengthening these routes as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Adam Wheatley, Managing Director at Eastern Airways, said: “Helping solve vital regional connectivity is what Eastern Airways have done for twenty five years. Working in partnership with the UK Government and Cornwall Council connecting one of the most distant surface transport journeys in England to the capital via London Gatwick Airport, in a low emission aircraft fits our belief in how sustainable aviation can meet the need of the UK economy and extensive connectivity into the future.
“We welcome the approach taken by all stakeholders and partners to commence this service and will continue to further support the South-West region in wider accessibility, adding around 20 new direct jobs at Cornwall Newquay Airport”
Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Philip Desmonde, said: “It is vital for our residents and business community that direct flights between Newquay and London are maintained and I welcome the news that Eastern Airways will operate our key route. This PSO service not only protects Cornwall’s links with London but also offers excellent connectivity around the world into the future.”
“While connectivity is vital, we must seek to minimise the impact of air travel on the environment. The Council has worked with all parties to ensure that the environmental impact of the air route is kept to a minimum by selecting aircraft which have lower emissions and lower noise impacts, as well as aligning schedules to ensure capacity meets demand.”
“Aviation forms part of the Department for Transport’s commitment to decarbonise transport by 2050, which includes a number of initiatives and commitments to enable domestic aviation to achieve Net Zero.”
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, London Gatwick Airport added: “Gatwick is delighted to welcome Eastern Airways’ new service, connecting London and the South-East with Cornwall and the South-West. By connecting these two regions, it opens up both business and job opportunities – vital as the country looks to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.”
Tim Jeans, Interim Director at Cornwall Airport Newquay said: “We’re delighted to have secured Eastern Airways to operate this new service to London Gatwick, the London Airport of choice for many of our passengers. The London route forms the cornerstone of our recovery strategy at Cornwall Airport Newquay and we very much look forward to working with the team at Eastern Airways to rebuild the historically strong demand on the route and make the service a success. We now have 10 airlines who will be operating routes out of Newquay in 2022 to a variety of destinations as the airport starts to play a key role again in keeping Cornwall connected.
Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Cornwall’s air links are vital to rebuilding our connectivity with other parts of the UK and the rest of the world following the disruption caused by coronavirus. The reintroduction of the Newquay to London route shows that we are open for business and is a real vote of confidence in the future of the airport and the Cornish economy as we bounce back from the Covid crisis.”
Eastern Airways already serves Cornwall Airport Newquay from Leeds-Bradford commencing services to the Cornish hub two years ago. Established in 1997 with bases throughout the UK and Europe - including having also launched services to Gibraltar during 2021 - it has a growing fleet especially focused on low-emission aircraft ranging from 29 to 100-seats, the airline serves UK and international airports including Aberdeen, Anglesey, Belfast-City, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Humberside, Jersey, Gibraltar, Leeds-Bradford, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Nantes, Newcastle, Newquay, Paris, Rennes, Southampton, Sumburgh and Teesside Airports.