Air Southwest has announced that they are going to close their Plymouth-Newquay-Gatwick route due the flights not making any money. The route will stop being operated on February 1, a decision that comes after the carrier was taken over by Eastern Airways in September. The Humberside-based airline has vowed to return the subsidiary to profitability.
Last May, Air Southwest closed its flights to London City Airport after a drop in passenger numbers. They have been looking for ways to cut costs to ensure the survival of the carrier. A spokesman explained that the Plymouth-Newquay-Gatwick route isn’t used enough, while the UK airport’s landing charges are increasing next month. However, the carrier says they plan to continue offering services from Newquay to 8 British and Irish destinations, as well as flights from Plymouth to Ireland, Scotland, the Channel Islands, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds/Bradford.
The closure of this route means that Flybe will now be the only airline operating a service from Cornwall to London. The British carrier has offered to re-protect passengers booked with Air Southwest, as it operates Newquay-Gatwick services. However, the airline can’t operate from Plymouth since their aircraft are too big for the hub’s runway.
Devon and Cornwall Business Council says that the decision was inevitable but a major hit to the economy. Tim Jones, with the council, says that there’s no way of dressing up the news, as it’s bad for Plymouth and the economy in the South West. Many business leaders were afraid of cuts due to the high cost of Gatwick slots, he noted.Author's Google+ page