UK government to fund regional air services to Newquay and Dundee
The UK government today confirmed that it will provide up to £4.3 million to fund direct flights between London and Newquay and Dundee in a major boost for regional links across the country.
Cornwall Council will receive up to £1.8 million over two years to support flights from London Gatwick to Newquay in a reinstated Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement that is expected to create hundreds of jobs.
The government has also confirmed that it will provide up to £2.5 million to fund direct flights for a further two years between Dundee and London City Airport (LCY) until 2023.
This funding, it insists, will keep an important route running, supporting regional links across the country
Indeed, according to the government, the two PSO agreements “ensure that people from both ends of the country can stay connected through direct flights and benefit from economic growth through encouraging tourism and business travel for years to come”.
The new funding effectively means that Loganair will continue to run operate flights between LCY and Dundee for another two years and that Eastern Airways will launch services from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Gatwick on December 9.
UK Aviation Minister, Robert Courts, says: “We’re maintaining these vital transport links, including the hugely popular London to Dundee and the reinstated Newquay to London routes, for people right across the country for tourism and business travel.
“The government is fully behind UK regional connectivity and strengthening these routes as we build back better from the pandemic.”
The UK Government’s Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, was as equally enthused about today’s announcement, stating: “It’s great news that flights between London City and Dundee have been secured for another two years.
“As we work to improve transport connectivity across the whole country, this route will continue to allow quick and easy travel between Tayside and the UK capital, supporting economic growth and job creation.”
Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Philip Desmonde, is in no doubt that direct flights to London are vital for the west country, particularly for Newquay’s residents and business community.
He enthuses: “I welcome the news that Eastern Airways will operate our key route. This PSO service not only protects Cornwall’s links with London but also offers excellent connectivity around the world into the future.
“While connectivity is vital, we must seek to minimise the impact of air travel on the environment. The Council has worked with all parties to ensure that the environmental impact of the air route is kept to a minimum by selecting aircraft which have lower emissions and lower noise impacts, as well as aligning schedules to ensure capacity meets demand.
“Aviation forms part of the Department for Transport’s commitment to decarbonise transport by 2050, which includes a number of initiatives and commitments to enable domestic aviation to achieve Net Zero.”
While Richard Hill, chief commercial officer at London City Airport said: “Connecting all parts of the UK to London has always been core to our business and we are delighted that the service to Dundee has been extended for another two years.
“Working alongside Loganair and partners at both ends of the route, our ambition is for this service to develop and grow business and tourist travel between both cities.”