Newquay Airport News
British Airways have the PSO contract (since Flybe’s demise) for taxpayer subsidised flights between Heathrow and Newquay
The government agreed in 2018 to subsidise flights from Newquay to Heathrow. These were initially to be by Flybe. Flybe then collapsed in March 2020. The subsidy is through a Public Service Obligation (PSO) intended to give financial assistance to unprofitable routes, which are deemed “vital” for an area. The cost to the taxpayer was expected to be £3,4 million, over the 4 years of the PSO, till 2022. That would be £1.7 million from the DfT and £1.7 million from Cornwall Council. It appears that since Flybe collapsed, the PSO was put out to tender again. British Airways is now being paid £125,000 per month to operate these flights. The website Simple Flying says “under the emergency order, the [Cornwall] council will be paying British Airways £877,596 excluding VAT, to operate services to Newquay for 7 months …. According to details on the European Union’s Tenders Electronic Daily, the 7-month contract was issued as a result of the collapse of Flybe. Only one compliant bid, that of British Airways, was received in the 48 hours that the proposal was open.” No passengers used Newquay airport in May 2020. The first flight date shown is 3rd September 2020.
Cornwall Airport Newquay makes key Heathrow flights announcement
By Mike Smallcombe (Cornwall Live)
7 JAN 2020
Tickets for Cornwall’s subsided daily service to Heathrow will be available to book beyond March this week after a period of uncertainty over its future, Cornwall Airport Newquay said. Passengers have been angered for several weeks by the fact they have been unable to book Flybe’s daily flights between Heathrow and Newquay later than March 28.
Flybe and the Newquay airport have been tight-lipped about the future of the service, which was launched last spring. saying only that the summer schedule has yet to be finalised. The route, run by Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, is run under a public service obligation (PSO), jointly funded by a government and Cornwall Council initiative. It will be subsidised until at least October 2022.
A spokesperson for Cornwall Airport Newquay has now confirmed that tickets “are expected” to be on sale this week. “Tickets on the London PSO service beyond March 28, 2020 are expected to be on sale from the week commencing January 6, 2020.
“Although you can currently only book travel on the service between Newquay and Heathrow until the end of March, the PSO service to London is contracted to operate four daily flights, seven days per week until October 2022 and that commitment remains unchanged.
Flight link between Newquay and Heathrow in doubt, after just one year
A flight link between Heathrow and Newquay, Cornwall, started at the end of March 2019, with 4 round trips per day using Q400 propeller turboprops, is said to have done well, in terms of the number of passengers. But now Flybe is not selling tickets for flights on the route beyond 28 March 2020. The “booking horizon” for scheduled flights is commonly 11 months. The only route from Cornwall to London now on sale after March 2020 is a 4-times weekly link with Southend airport. Earlier this year, a consortium comprising Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and a US hedge fund, Cyrus Capital, bought Flybe for £2.8m. They have pumped in tens of millions of pounds to keep Flybe, which is heavily loss-making, afloat. It is to be rebranded as Virgin Connect in 2020. Before the Heathrow route opened, there were 3 daily flights between Newquay and Gatwick. Flybe’s slots at Heathrow are valuable, if they want to sell them to sort out debts, as slots can change hands for over £50m a pair. From March 2018, the agreement was that for 4 years, the DfT and Cornwall Council would each pay up to £1.7m, per year, representing a subsidy of £5 per passenger – or £10 for a round-trip (with 170,000 passengers per year).
Flybe’s Newquay link with Heathrow takes off courtesy of taxpayer PSO subsidy (£6.2m over 8 years)
From next weekend people flying between Newquay and Heathrow will get a £5 subsidy each, from UK taxpayers. There will be 4 flights per day both ways. Newquay airport is not particularly near anywhere – other than surfing beaches. The service will be Heathrow’s only subsidised service, run under a public service obligation (PSO). PSOs are defined under European aviation regulations as “scheduled air services on routes which are vital for the economic development of the region they serve”. That means for routes where there is not enough demand to even half fill a small regional aircraft and that to attract a commercial operator to fly the route, the government has to provide a financial incentive. The cost to the taxpayer over 4 years for this will be £3.4 million. (For 180,000 pax per year that works out at £5 each. But there were only <93,000 pax in 2013). The pendulum is swinging back to Heathrow, however.Heathrow has set aside a £10 million fund to incentivise domestic airline route development – needed to persuade regional MPs to back the runway.
02.04.16 Newquay airport’s £5 fee ends
11.11.15 New Newquay air routes announced
Newquay Airport Development Fee (£5 per passenger) axed after private meeting of Cornwall Council
A secret meeting of Cornwall Council’s Cabinet has agreed that the taxpayer will have to pay more to subsidise Newquay airport. They voted to abolish the passenger levy, which is the £5 Airport Development Fee (ADF) that is charged for each departing passenger over 16 who boards a flight from Newquay. Newquay was the first to introduce such a tax in the UK, in 2006,to fund development of the airport. It is understood that the controversial vote was reached by just one vote and was pushed through by the deputy leader of the council. The hope is that the decision will help Newquay win back Ryanair. But removing the £5 charge will mean an increase in the amount of taxpayer subsidy, shifting the burden from those who use the airport on to the general public. It comes at a time when cash-strapped Cornwall Council considering selling off leisure facilities, reducing library opening hours and closing public toilets. A cross-party group had asked the council’s chief legal officer to scrutinise the Cabinet’s decision, and there is concern that the decision was taken in private. One councillor said: “Where there are matters surrounding the airport, they frequently like to put cloud of secrecy around it.”
Flybe to have daily flights to Newquay from Stansted from 16th May
Flybe is expanding its Stansted’s UK connections with three new services – to the Isle of Man, Newcastle and Newquay. The service to the Isle of Man, which will operate three times a day by the end of March. Next will be Newcastle on 29th March to provide passengers with twice daily direct connections during the week and daily at weekends to the North East. Newquay will be the third new route to join Flybe’s network at Stansted with a daily service from 16th May having initially been announced as a ‘seasonal part week summer service’.
DfT signs 2nd PSO to pay £2.5 million so Flybe can profitably maintain Newquay to Gatwick route
The Government will pay £2.5 million, and Cornwall Council will pay £300,000, in a 4-year funding deal to enable Flybe to profitably operate flights between Newquay and Gatwick. The DfT says the public service obligation (PSO) will continue a link. There will be 3 flights each way on weekdays and 2 at weekends. The aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, said keeping the region connected to London is a “vital part of our long-term economic plan” and Danny Alexander said the route ”is vital for Cornwall’s businesses, tourist industry and residents” and “with a return rate of nearly £3 for every £1 invested, it’s a great deal for the UK taxpayer, as well as for the south-west.” The DfT says Flybe will operate the flights with the timings providing a convenient schedule for a full working day [eh? holiday-makers?] at either destination.” EasyJet took over Flybe’s Gatwick slots when the service ended in March this year, but decided to drop the Newquay service. There were about 92,600 passengers flying between Gatwick and Newquay in 2013, so over 4 years the £2.8 million would be about £7.50 each. Could the fare not rise by that amount, to save having to subsidise?
Aerohub business park at Newquay Airport to gain £6m investment (from public funds)
The Aerohub business park at Newquay Airport is set to receive £6m for the first phase of the project. The hub is part of Cornwall’s new enterprise zone, which is dedicated to the aerospace industry. The money will come from the Homes and Communities Agency http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/ and the European Regional Development Fund Convergence programme. http://www.erdfconvergence.org.uk/post-2013 The development is predicted to create 2,500 jobs [says 700 below] and construction is due to begin in October. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “It’s a remarkable facility, we think about 700 new jobs could be created by this investment, its badly needed in this area. Companies choosing to develop at the Aerohub will be offered tax breaks and planning regulations will be eased.
8 sites shortlisted for UK’s first commercial spaceport – Newquay, Llanbedr + 6 in Scotland
At the Farnborough Air Show, plans to build a dedicated launch facility were unveiled. The UK government has expressed its enthusiasm for this unlikely project. Of the sites revealed by he CAA, one site is in England, at Newquay. One site is in Wales at Llanbedr airport in Snowdonia national park. The other six are in Scotland: Campbeltown airport; Prestwick airport; Kinloss barracks; RAF Lossiemouth; RAF Leuchars and Stornoway airport on the Isle of Lewis. Publication of the shortlist has led to a scramble among the sites to win government backing. The Scottish government in keen on the idea, for the kudos of being seen to be a space nation. Operators now enter three months of consultation before the decision is made.The airports considered have to have long runways and have airspace that can be easily segregated to allow spaceplane flights to operate alongside normal aviation. Sites have to be remote from population, on the coast to minimise the risks from “down-range abnormal occurrences” – meaning spaceplanes crashing or bits falling off. Space travel is the highest carbon activity known to man; worse even than Formula One racing or using private jets.
Newquay Airport ‘could become a rock concert venue’ – needs to earn money to stay afloat
January 12, 2014
Newquay Airport costs owner Cornwall Council about £3m a year in subsidies. It is not likely to make much profit just from its airport activities. It is now suggested the site could be used some of the time as a venue for rock concerts to help balance the books. However, a problem is the poor road links. It might also have go-kart racing and other activities, and has in the past held car shows, eco-car races, police driver training and filming of TV and commercials. Last year passenger numbers at Newquay airport fell, for a 5th consecutive year, to 174,000, down from 431,000 in 2008/9. The airport, a former military base, was hit by Ryanair and Air Southwest pulling their flights in 2011. In autumn 2014 Newquay will lose its route to Gatwick when Flybe is set to pull out, saying the service it is not viable. The whole airport area is about 861 acres, of which some 650 acres is an Enterprise Zone and 231 acres is development land, occupied by commercial companies. 87 acres is a solar park. Newquay is also paid by the government to stay open as an emergency airfield. The runway is one of the largest in the country so any plane can land there, as one of the first possible sites for planes coming in from the west. Click here to view full story…
Government agrees ‘in principle’ to help fund Newquay Gatwick air link
EasyJet to fly Newquay to Southend 4 times per week in summer, after it ends Gatwick to Newquay route
October 8, 2013 EasyJet is to increase its weekly flights between Southend to Newquay from 3 to 4 over the summer period only. This comes after EasyJet recently announced it would not continue its flights from Gatwick to Newquay. Almost 8,000 passengers flew from Southend to Newquay this summer by EasyJet. EasyJet – which took over the Gatwick route from Flybe – said there is not enough demand to run a year-round service between Newquay and Southend, and these route from Gatwick was not financially viable for them. A Cornwall MP said the loss of the link to Gatwick would be a “blow to businesses across Cornwall”. EasyJet said : “Following Flybe’s decision to cease operating from London Gatwick to Newquay, Easyjet carefully and thoroughly examined the commercial viability of offering year-round services on the route. Unfortunately, after much consideration, all of the evidence clearly shows that there is insufficient demand to sustain a service using an A319 aircraft with 156 seats.” Click here to view full story…
Easyjet ‘to keep Newquay-Gatwick flights’
12 September 2013 (BBC)
Newquay currently provides the only direct flight to London from the far south-west of England. Easyjet is considering saving the main Cornwall-London air link when Flybe stops operating the route in March, the BBC understands.Flybe announced in May it was selling all its Gatwick landing slots to Easyjet for £20m, blaming an increase in airport charges.It triggered fears the slots might be used for services between Gatwick and more lucrative destinations.Easyjet said it could give no update as “no decision has been made”. Newquay Airport currently provides the only direct flight to London from the far south-west of England.The Newquay-Gatwick route is regarded as a regional economic lifeline, especially since flights to and from Plymouth Airport stopped in July 2011. Flybe had said the sale of landing slots was part of a cost-cutting programme for the Exeter-based airline. BBC South West Business Correspondent Neil Gallacher said he understood that an outline deal was in place that would see Easyjet operating a daily service between Newquay and Gatwick from the end of March 2014. Passenger numbers have fallen for the past five years but a spokesperson previously said there would “be a strong demand” for the new services. Easyjet also launched flights between Newquay and London Southend, in June.The key point is that the umbilical link is not going to be cut.I am told by more than one senior source in the worlds of business and local politics that the basics of a deal are in place that will ensure that a daily air link between Newquay and Gatwick survives, and it will be provided by EasyJet from the end of March.
One possible shape of the service may pan out as two flights a day, possibly down to one in winter.But, even if it is fewer flights, Easyjet are expected to be using much bigger planes: 150-seat 737s rather than Flybe’s current planes, which take up to 78. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-
easyJet flies into Newquay for first time
20.6.2013 easyJet has today launched its first ever flight to Newquay Airport with a Cornish pilot at the helm. easyJet’s inaugural flight arrived from Southend – carrying the first of 20,000 visitors expected to travel to and from the region with easyJet this summer. easyJet will also introduce flights to and from Liverpool Airport on 4 July. EasyJet hopes Newquay will prove popular with holidaymakers from Southend and Liverpool this summer. “The new Southend flights make business trips or long weekends in the Capital easy and affordable as it takes just 45 minutes to reach London from Southend by train. The new flights will also open up a range of holiday destinations for people in Cornwall as both Liverpool and London Southend serve a wide range of European resorts and cities.” (So do Bristol etc, and Southend is not close to Stansted etc) http://corporate.easyjet.com/media/latest-news/news-year-2013.aspx?sc_lang=en
Funding confirmed for enterprise zone projects – 2 at airports
10 June 2013 .
The government has confirmed a £104 million funding package to progress work on 18 infrastructure projects across 13 enterprise zones. Among the projects to secure the funding is the creation of a new business park adjacent to Newquay Airport in Cornwall. The package, which combines £45 million from government housing and regeneration agency the Homes & Communities Agency with £59 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Local Infrastructure Fund. Eric Pickles said: “The government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in”. DCLG said the successful proposals would now undergo “further testing to ensure value for money for the taxpayer”. The enterprise zone projects to secure funding include: Aerohub Business Park, Newquay, Cornwall: Investment to support the creation of a new business Park adjacent to Newquay Airport, aiming to develop new aerospace related employment; And Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone: Funding to upgrade and install roads and junctions, services and public realm for two sites that will provide more than 230,000 square metres of employment floorspace at Manchester Airport; http://www.planningresource.co.uk/news/1185661
EasyJet launches new route from Southend to Newquay
6.12.2012 easyJet has announced that it will be further expanding its route offering from Southend Airport with a new service to Newquay, from Summer 2013. The new 3 times weekly service which departs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays is expected to attract almost 10,000 passengers each year with the inaugural flight taking off from Southend Airport on 20 June 2013. It talks about this fast connection to the “English Riviera” and its great beaches, restaurants and attractions. Fares start from £30.99 per person (including taxes) based on two passengers flying on the same booking. “We are sure Newquay is going to prove popular with Essex travellers for both short breaks and longer staycations – not just for its surfing, but also for the simple and easy access it provides to the much admired Cornish coast. EasyJet has also announced new services to Krakow and Berlin launching June,2013 bringing the number of routes served from London Southend Airport to 14. Click here to view full article …..
Newquay Airport: Passenger numbers down and down, subsidy up and up
September 18, 2011 Newquay airport gets a msssive public subsidy it is. Passenger numbers were supposed to be 550,000 and rising by 2012. Instead they are 239,246 and falling (figures based on provisional statistics for August 2011, annualised). Meanwhile the official subsidy from Cornwall Council has risen to £3.5m, though cynical observers might consider this only part of the story. Click here to view full story…
Flybe steps in to save Cornwall route – Newquay to Manchester
Newquay Airport Local Development Order application consultation until 9th March
11th February 2011 Cornwall Council has announced that Newquay Airport has applied for a Local Development Order. This would grant the airport planning permission to carry out aviation related development, such as runway resurfacing, improvements to taxiways and the construction of aviation related buildings. These would be considered as permitted development. A consultation on this ends 9th March. Click here to view full story…
MoD begins 10 weeks flight training at Newquay Airport
11th February 2011 Newquay Airport has agreed to become the first in the country to strike a deal with the Ministry of Defence for a two and a half month flight training scheme. From 15th Feb, Newquay Airport will open its skies to military fixed wing aircraft. The agreement comes as part of the working relationship that has continued between the pair since the MoD left RAF St Mawgan in Nov 2008. The MoD are keen on the long runway and non-congested airspace Click here to view full story…
New report reveals Newquay Airport ‘going from strength to strength’ (?)
11th February 2011 A report seems to show that Newquay airport produces a great deal of economic benefit for Cornwall. This is despite receiving an immense amount of tax payers’ money. The airport gets an annual subsidy from Cornwall Council of £3.4 million. Newquay will also get £7.8 m from Cornwall over the next 3 years. (The report says this is a saving to the taxpayer of £112.000 ….?) Newquay also gets significant European funding. Click here to view full story…
EC Funding (£24.3m for Newquay airport is approved
Ryanair relaunch Stansted – Newquay flights
03.03.09 Ryanair relaunched its flights between Stansted Airport and Newquay Cornwall Airport yesterday. The move follows the cancellation of the flights prior to Christmas when the handover of the airport from the RAF to the county council was delayed, leading to the airport being closed for a time. Ryanair’s Maria Macken said: ‘To celebrate Ryanair’s return to Newquay, Ryanair is offering one million seats for travel across Europe in March, April and May beginning at £2 and increasing by £1 every day until Monday March 9 when they will reach £9. These seats include taxes and charges.’ (UK Airport News)
Ryanair delay Newquay – Spain flights
08.02.09 Ryanair has postponed the relaunch of its flights from Newquay Airport to Spain until June because of a strike at airplane manufacturer Boeing. The budget airline, which had planed to resume its Newquay flights to and from Alicante in March, said the industrial action had delayed the delivery of an aircraft that was due to operate the route. However, this will not affect its Stansted – Newquay service, which is due to operate again from early March. (UK Airport News)
Cornish MPs want Newquay airport inquiry
29th November 2008 Cornwall’s MPs, who are all Liberal Democrats, are calling for an investigation into the temporary closure of Newquay Airport. Cornwall County Council, which owns the airport, had been due to take over operations from the RAF on 1st December. But as the CAA did not grant it a licence in time it has had to cancel all flights in and out until 19th December. About 209 departures and 7,000 passengers could be affected by the temporary closure.(BBC) Click here to view full story…
Newquay Airport master plan launched
27th November 2008 After nearly 2 years of dithering, Cornwall County Council – which owns the airport – has decided to release the Masterplan for its future development, incorporating a possible fourfold expansion of passenger numbers between 2007 and 2030. They want to increase the number of air traffic movements accordingly, and hugely expand their executive jet business. There is a 10 week consultation process, ending around mid February (no date given). Click here to view full story…
Air traffic delay stops Newquay flights
Airports in the South West will no longer get grants to expand from the South West Regional Development Agency. Instead the SWRDA wants to encourage airports to become “greener” and lessen their environmental impact, and it said it will not be investing in further airport expansion across the region. Newwquay hopes to double its passenger numbers.
New group flights Newquay airport expansion
Climate protest on Newquay Airport roof
The climate campaigners were persuaded down by police and security staff after spending three hours on the roof. Police Sergeant Andy Buckley said: ‘We do have some concerns about the roof condition. There was some work taking place there so it’s important that we safely get the protestors down and establish whether any damage has been done.’ In a statement a spokesperson for the airport said: ‘These protestors are attacking an airport that is providing an enviable example on how to develop sustainable aviation.’
29.11.07 Flybe announce new routes from Exeter and Newquay Airports
Council funding for Newquay Airport development approved
Former airline boss to advise Newquay Airport
Newquay Airport plans under fire
An independent report into the future of Newquay Airport has exposed major flaws in Cornwall County Council’s plans for expansion, according to a local climate change action group.
Groundswell Cornwall commissioned the report to test the County Council’s claims that Cornwall’s future development can only be secured by turning the regional airport into an international gateway. The group says that the report highlights basic flaws in the County Council’s case. A spokesperson for the group, Oliver Baines OBE, says: ‘This is the first time the County Council’s claims have been challenged. And they don’t stand up to scrutiny. Many are hopelessly flimsy. We are calling on the County Council for an immediate public debate on their plans.’
Mr Baines set out the following statements: The County Council claims: cheap air travel is here to stay. Groundswell says: the chance for cheap fuel in the future is nil.
The County Council claims: the wider debate around air travel does not apply to Cornwall.
Groundswell says: it’s cloud cuckoo land to think that Cornwall can insulate itself from global issues. The County Council claims: flying leaves no more of a carbon footprint than driving a car. Groundswell says: evidence strongly suggests that air travel is more polluting than any other form of travel, because emissions are released direct into the high atmosphere. [Some scientists suggest that emissions at altitude are twice as damaging as emissions at sea level.] See full article. The report is available from www.groundswellcornwall.org.