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Loganair CEO: Newquay airport's decisions "short-sighted and short-termist"

1 Sep 2022 by Mark Caswell
Loganair aircraft at Cornwall Airport Newquay

Loganair has suspended all operations at Cornwall Airport Newquay this winter, and will scale back flights from the airport in 2023.

The carrier’s route from Newquay to Teesside and onwards to Inverness will not return next year, and Loganair said that “planned growth on other routes is to be redirected to other UK airports” including Southampton, Exeter and Cardiff.

Around 300 flights will be cancelled over the winter season, with the suspension of flights to Edinburgh, Newcastle and Manchester (the last of which continues on to Aberdeen).

The decision follows the announcement of the return of Flybe to Newquay airport, with flights to Heathrow and Manchester launching from October 30.

Flybe to launch flights from Newquay to Heathrow and Manchester

While Loganair did not specifically mention Flybe in its press release, the carrier said that it was “disappointed that short-sighted and short-term decisions by the airport’s management to incentivise unsustainable operations by other airlines leave no prospect of winter flights remaining viable, particularly against a backdrop of high fuel prices and rising inflation”.

The airline said it had contacted all customers with forward winter bookings on the affected routes, to offer a change of travel date or refund options.

Loganair’s CEO Jonathan Hinkles also posted a message on his LinkedIn account, stating:

“I believe the airport’s decisions are as short-sighted as they are short-termist, and will have genuinely adverse consequences for Cornwall’s year-round air connectivity.

“For a start, it’s absolutely crackers to incentivise a new air service that will compete head-on with a route that the airport’s own sole shareholder – Cornwall Council – subsidises another airline to fly under a PSO mechanism. How can that be a sensible use of taxpayer funds for Cornwall, or the UK more broadly?”

In November 2021 it was announced that Eastern Airways had been awarded a contract to operate flights between Newquay and Gatwick, under a four-year Public Service Obligation (PSO) to ensure a year-round link between Cornwall and London.

Business Traveller contacted Cornwall Airport Newquay  for comment on the suspension of Loganair services, and received the following response:

“We are disappointed that Loganair have made the decision to cancel their flights to Manchester and Edinburgh this winter but would like to reassure our passengers that a daily service to Manchester is still available with Flybe and we look forward to welcoming Loganair back on both routes in the spring.

“As an airport we are committed to serving the people and economy of Cornwall and this is what drives the commercial decisions we make as an airport. We are delighted that we now have more airlines operating from the airport than before the pandemic, offering destination and airline choice to suit every traveller.

“London and Manchester have historically made up over 50 per cent of the passenger volumes to and from Cornwall Airport Newquay and we are delighted to now be able to offer the choice of up to three flights a day to both Heathrow (Flybe, commences 30 October and British Airways) and Gatwick (Eastern Airways), with three airlines operating services to Manchester (Loganair, Flybe and Easyjet), helping to build back not only the capacity needed on these routes but also offering choice and flexibility to our passengers.”

The airport also provided a list of all current seasonal and year-round routes (see below), and added that “Further new routes for next summer are likely to be announced in the coming months”.

loganair.co.uk, cornwallairportnewquay.com

Airlines and routes operating from Cornwall Airport Newquay

Eastern Airways

• London Gatwick (up to three times daily, year-round)
• Humberside (twice weekly, summer seasonal)

Aer Lingus Regional (operated by Emerald Airlines)

• Dublin (four times weekly, year-round)

Ryanair

• Alicante (twice weekly, year-round)
• Faro (twice weekly, summer seasonal)

Flybe

• London Heathrow (twice daily, year-round)
• Manchester (daily, year-round)

Loganair

• Manchester (daily, summer seasonal)
• Edinburgh (up to five times weekly, summer seasonal)

Easyjet

• Manchester (up to five times weekly, summer seasonal)
• Glasgow (twice weekly, summer seasonal)

Eurowings

• Dusseldorf (weekly, summer seasonal)

Edelweiss

• Zurich (weekly, summer seasonal)

British Airways

• London Heathrow (three times weekly, summer seasonal)

Skybus

• Isles of Scilly (three times weekly, summer seasonal)

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