Air Southwest’s Gatwick-Plymouth air route to close

10.1.2011  (ABTN)

by Gary Noakes

Plymouth is to lose its air link to Gatwick after Air Southwest announced closure
of the loss-making route.

Air Southwest’s flights, which operate from Plymouth via Newquay, (which is further from Gatwick than Plymouth ]  will cease on February 1. The decision follows the takeover of Air Southwest
by Humberside-based Eastern Airways in September, which has vowed to return its
subsidiary to profitability.

The closure is a setback for Plymouth airport, whose parent company Sutton Harbour
Holdings sold Air Southwest to Eastern Airways.

“The flights were just not being used enough and Gatwick’s landing charges are
going up next month,” said an Air Southwest spokesman.

Flybe, which operates from Newquay to Gatwick, has offered to re-protect passengers
booked with Air Southwest. However, Flybe cannot operate from Plymouth as its
78-seat Q-400 aircraft are too big for the runway length.

Air Southwest, which operates 50-seat Dash 8 aircraft from Plymouth, said it
would continue to fly from Newquay to eight UK and Ireland destinations and from
Plymouth to Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands as well as to Leeds/Bradford,
Bristol and Manchester.
[The Plymouth to Newquay route must be about the shortest flight distance in
the UK].
Flightmapping:   shows the routes from each airport in the UK 
This leaves Plymouth with the following destinations:
Leeds Bradford