Exeter Airport News
Exeter Airport receives huge funding boost from Council to avoid it having to close
A package of funding worth nearly £1million designed to ensure Exeter Airport can avoid the “worst case scenario” of closure has been unanimously backed by East Devon District Council’s cabinet. The combination of the collapse of Flybe, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, has led to the airport facing ruin. Passenger numbers in May 2019 were 97,000 and in May 2020 the equivalent figure was just 9. From the beginning of the financial year to the end of the July passenger numbers dropped by 99.5% compared to the same period last year. The Council approved a package of measures including a further deferral of £180,000 of business rate relief, forward-funding the airport’s share of the Long Lane enhancement scheme – nearly £750,000 – and to endorse the concept of a “sustainable aviation cluster” centred on Exeter Airport. It is not clear that the money is enough to keep the airport going, and save the jobs of 96 employees. It might eventually still need to close. East Devon District Council is expected to approve the measures.
£1m lifeline for Exeter Airport£1m lifeline for Exeter Airport
6th October 2020
A regional airport providing a key link between the Channel Islands and the South West has received a £1m bailout from its local council in a bid to save it from closure.
Exeter Airport provides an important point of access for the many Channel Islands university students based in Exeter and Cornwall, as well as those attending institutions in Bristol and Bath, and is also popular among leisure travellers.
Guernsey currently has flights to Exeter via Jersey, operated by Blue Islands.
Despite the route’s popularity, the collapse of Flybe and the pandemic’s impact on travel have seen passenger numbers fall to just 10% of their usual volume.
East Devon District Council was therefore called upon to provide lifeline support.
Last week, it confirmed a package of help valued close to £1m, including a deferral of business rate relief over three years worth £180,000. The rest of the funding is aimed at progressing plans for improved road access to the Airport and a “sustainable aviation cluster.”
“The airport fulfils a crucial role for the area providing local skilled jobs, regional connectivity and a potential development hub for sustainable aviation, through electric or hybrid flights bringing environmental benefits by reducing carbon emissions,” East Devon District Council explained in a statement.
The link with Exeter was reinstated by Blue Islands in September after being suspended due to covid-19.
The route was put at risk in March after its operator of many years, Flybe, collapsed. However, Blue Islands – a former franchise partner of Flybe – rescued the route.
The flights between Jersey and Exeter use aircraft based in the Channel Islands, but the airline, which recently received a £10m loan from the Government of Jersey, said it was planning to base an aircraft in Exeter at the end of October, employing around 20 pilots, cabin crew and engineers.
Exeter Airport sold to Rigby Group while its resident airline, Flybe, reported a huge loss
June 26, 2013
Exeter’s airport has been sold by Balfour Beatty for an undisclosed sum to Patriot Aerospace, the aviation division of Rigby Group PLC. Balfour Beatty bought the airport in January 2007 from Devon County Council for £60m. It employs 305 staff. There are currently flights to about 40 destinations. Rigby Group said the future of the airport’s staff was secure and it hoped to add more routes. Rigby Group owns Coventry Airport, British International Helicopters, based at Newquay, and a string of hotels. Sir Peter Rigby, Chairman of Rigby Group, said he wanted to work with Exeter’s main carrier Flybe and also wanted to encourage other airlines to fly from the airport. Flybe sad it “welcomed” the purchase. A few days earlier, Flybe (based at Exeter) reported a a pre-tax loss of £40.7m for the year to 31 March, against a loss of £6.2m the year before (a 7-fold rise). It has had falling numbers of passengers, blaming the cost of jet fuel and the price of APD for domestic flights. With Flybe in trouble, the airport’s future might become dependent on other developments. Click here to view full story…
Balfour Beatty may sell Exeter airport due to financial problems
May 30, 2013
Exeter airport was sold by DevonCounty Council to the airports group of British infrastructure company, Balfour Beatty, in early 2007. Now Balfour Beatty has started looking for buyers for its 60% stake, according to Sky news. The price is not known. Balfour Beatty has not been doing well in recent years, and they issued their second profits warning in six months, blaming “extremely tough” market conditions etc. The airport has not been doing well. The number of travellers using Exeter Airport topped one million in 2007 but has been falling since then, though the rate of decline has slowed since 2009. In 2012 passenger numbers were down to 697,074, following a drop of nearly 4% in 2011. About 250 people are directly employed by the airport, with a further 50 working at car parks, catering and retail concessions on the site. The remaining shareholding in Exeter airport is owned by Galaxy, a specialist fund which is backed by French and Italian investors and the European Commission. Click here to view full story…
10.04.11 Exeter Airport raises £1350 with charity cake sale
18.03.11 Exeter Airport sees Easter bookings surge
25.02.11 Exeter Airport supports environmental charity
02.01.11 Exeter Airport to get more Egypt flights
21.11.10 New weekly summer service from Exeter to Düsseldorf
17.11.10 Holidays4U plan Exeter – Dalaman flights
11.11.10 Flybe near miss at Exeter Airport
29.09.10 Woodland trust benefit from Exeter Airport parking
09.09.10 Flash flood hits Exeter Airport
08.08.10 New Operator offers Turkey flights from Exeter Airport
02.08.10 Exeter Airport ready for busy summer
05.07.10 More Austrian tourists for Exeter Airport
03.04.10 Woodlands benefit from Exeter Airport parking
Flybe happy to carry on with Q400 fleet
14th February 2009 Exeter-based airline Flybe is carrying on flying the world’s biggest fleet of the type of plane involved in the US aircraft crash. Flybe has 49 of the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft which it uses for domestic and short-haul European routes, including Belfast-Manchester and Exeter-Manchester. It was a Continental Connection Q400 that crashed in Buffalo in New York state, killing all 49 people aboard and one person on the ground. (Independent) Click here to view full story…
30.06.08 Passengers up at Exeter Airport
13.06.08 New logo for Exeter Airport
09.03.08 New appointment at Exeter Airport
23.02.08 Exeter Airport £124m growth plan