Cornwall secures Heathrow hub link

Cornwall Airport Newquay will gain access to Heathrow next year, to replace flights to Gatwick.

Flybe will run as many as four flights a day from the London hub from March 31 using 78-seat Q400 turboprop aircraft.

The service will operate at Terminal 2 at Heathrow.

The Heathrow route will replace the airline’s existing link to Gatwick, with Flybe’s current operation to the capital operating under a Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement.

The PSO which allows the route to run is jointly funded by a government and Cornwall Council initiative.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “The government has been clear that maintaining and enhancing air routes that help bring together the UK, is one of the key benefits of any expansion at Heathrow.

“This new route will see the people of the south-west profit from a direct connection into our national hub airport even before it expands, building on the government’s ongoing commitment to the Newquay route, protecting choice and strengthening trade and travel opportunities for the whole UK.”

Al Titterington, Cornwall airport Newquay managing director, said: “We have been working for many years to make sure that CAN has direct access to Europe’s busiest hub, and with this new service it opens not just a connection to the UK’s leading gateway, but also the world.

“By having direct flights to Heathrow, it grows the strength of Newquay and Cornwall’s brand abroad, which is great for the local business community and those wanting to visit our beautiful county.”

More than 119,000 passengers flew between Newquay and Gatwick in the first eight months of the year, a 12.8% increase over the same period of 2017.

Titterington added: “While the Gatwick service will switch to Heathrow, the increased demand shows that CAN needs more services to the capital, and with Flybe offering up to four daily flights to Heathrow, up from three at the moment to Gatwick, we will be giving passengers an extra nine weekly departures to choose from.”

Heathrow chief executive John Holland Kaye said: “We are delighted to secure a more regular service to Newquay, connecting exporters from Cornwall to global markets through Heathrow and making it easier for inward investors, tourists and students from all over the world to get there.

“Following the successful launch in 2016 of an Inverness service, the UK’s two furthest mainland airports will now be connected to the UK’s biggest port.”