Gloucestershire Airport launches flights to the Isle of Man (IOM) and Jersey this week – the first scheduled services from the airport. The flights will be served by regional carrier Manx2.
The airport is based in the Gloucestershire town of Cheltenham, and is roughly equidistant between the established airports of Bristol and Birmingham. Both these airports currently offer flights to the two island destinations – Birmingham serves IOM with Flybe and Eastern Airways, and Jersey with Flybe and Bmibaby, while Bristol has flights to Jersey with Flybe, and to IOM with Eastern Airways.
These new flights from Gloucestershire Airport will give travellers living near the M5 catchment area increased choice. Manx2 will be running a twice-daily service on weekdays to IOM, with the 55-minute flights leaving Gloucester at 0900 and 1855, and the Gloucester-bound legs departing IOM at 0745 and 1730. There is also a Saturday service (leaving IOM at 0805, and from Gloucester at 1215), and a Sunday service departing IOM at 1500 and Gloucester at 1915.
The Jersey flights will initially run at weekends only, leaving Gloucester at 0925 on Saturdays and 1625 on Sundays (arriving one hour later), and departing Jersey at 1050 on Saturdays and 1750 on Sundays.
While this is an exciting development for Gloucesterhire Airport, don't expect the facility to start competing with Bristol or Birmingham anytime soon. The airport's runway classification means that it is restricted in the type of aircraft allowed to land there, although the airport hopes to be able to use certain turboprop aircraft such as the ATR42 or Dash 8 to open up possible new routes in the future.
Manx2 says that it sold 1,000 tickets on the Gloucester-IOM route ahead of its launch, with flights starting from £49 each way (inclusive of taxes). For more information visit manx2.com, gloucestershireairport.co.uk.
Report by Mark Caswell