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Air Link to London Reprieve

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9:48am 2nd December 2013
(Updated 9:48am 2nd December 2013)

Pirate FM has learnt Cornwall will not lose its air link to London in March after all.

Flybe had been due to stop running the route from Newquay to Gatwick, the only air route from the southwest to the capital.

Now it will carry on until October, offering Cornwall Council the opportunity to organise a long-term replacement service.

That is likely to involve a government subsidy, which is likely to be worth millions of pounds a year but will guarantee the link is maintained.

Ministers have already indicated agreement in principle.

The temporary deal to keep twice daily flights running till 25th October is expected to be officially announced later on Monday morning.

"This is very good news for Cornwall" said Adam Paynter, the Council's Cabinet Member for Partnerships. "The air link between Newquay and London is vital for the economy of Cornwall and I am delighted that Flybe has decided to continue to operate the service next Summer.

Chris Pomfret, the Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said "The provision of a regular year round service to a London hub airport with a schedule that works for businesses is vital to the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"I know that many businesses were very concerned about the impact of a break in the service over the Summer and I am sure they will join me in welcoming Flybe's decision. However, we must ensure this is the first step in delivering a long term secure daily all year round service that is so essential if Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are to improve economically."

Newquay and St Austell MP Stephen Gilbert said: "'I know I speak on behalf of all the Cornish MPs in welcoming this news and will be working with them over the coming months to make the case to Government for further support to ensure this important air service is safeguarded for the next four years."

Paul Simmons, from Flybe said: "Flybe has been working hard with Newquay Cornwall Airport over the past couple of months to try and secure a satisfactory resolution for Cornwall to retain a crucial lifeline air link to and from London.

"This is critical both for leisure and business travellers who also need the security of a schedule that allows the opportunity for convenient day returns. Flybe is therefore very pleased to have agreed a commercial deal with the airport that secures the seamless operation of this key route until the end of October next year."

Airport MD Al Titterington said: "We are extremely pleased with the agreement reached with Flybe for them to continue operating the vital link between Newquay and Gatwick through to autumn 2014. Flybe services from Newquay to Gatwick and Manchester offer direct connectivity in addition to the opportunity for passengers to connect onwards to destinations across UK and Europe on the Flybe network.

The summer route between Newquay and Birmingham is also expected to be resurrected by Flybe.

9:48am 2nd December 2013

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