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Passenger Numbers Drop At Newquay Airport
3:09pm 23rd May 2013
Cornwall's biggest airport has revealed a big drop in passenger numbers.
Around 26,000 fewer people used Newquay airport in the last financial year.
Bosses have told Pirate FM numbers have fallen from 199,000 in 2011/12 to 173,000 in 2012/13.
It is the fifth drop in a row, though the airport is expecting an increase to around 187,000 passengers over the next twelve months.
Al Titterington, Managing Director of Newquay Airport said: "The introduction of Easyjet next month and its two services to Southend and to Liverpool will add volume to the numbers. But also, the increase on charter services through the Autumn in October and November will consolidate that forecast.
Al added that the council-owned base at St Mawgan is actually costing Cornish taxpayers less.
He said: "The subsidy has decreased year on year for the last three years. It is disappointing. Our challenge is, in a very difficult, competitive environment, to increase those passenger numbers and offer the services which the taxpayers of Cornwall are demanding from us."
Meantime, Flybe has announced it will end flights between Newquay Airport and Gatwick in 2014.
The airline is axing the route on March 29th next year, blaming rising charges at the London airport.
Newquay Airport said it was confident a replacement carrier could be found to continue the route.
Responding to the news, Al Titterington said: "The sale of the slots was not an unexpected announcement given Gatwick Airport's strategy over the last few years to out price smaller regional aircraft operators such as Flybe. The Airport has been in discussions with several other carriers in respect of operating a daily return service from Newquay to London.
"Nearly 100,000 passengers used the busy London route in 2012 providing valuable connectivity to the business community so we are confident another airline will see the value of the opportunity.
"We wish to confirm there is no expected disruption to our current 3 daily flights to Gatwick or the other services operated by Flybe in our 2013-14 schedule and Flybe will continue their normal operations until 29th March 2014.
"Although the loss of this route by Flybe is a blow it does not signify any loss of confidence in the airport's viability to deliver essential services to the residents of Devon & Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The airport is a key part of the transport infrastructure serving the South West and is a vital gateway for travellers visiting Cornwall."
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