Regional airline Eastern Airways has reached an agreement in principal to buy Plymouth-based carrier Air Southwest.
The takeover is expected to be completed next month, subject to regulatory approval, and Eastern Airways says that the deal will see it “further develop its business and expand its network into the South West of England”.
Currently owned by Sutton Harbour Group, Air Southwest operates routes from Plymouth and Newquay to destinations including Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Bristol, Dublin, Cork, Newcastle and Glasgow. The carrier dropped it routes from London City earlier this year, stating its intention to "refocus on its successful London Gatwick service" (see online news May 5).
The acquisition will see the Air Southwest brand continuing to be used on routes from Plymouth, Newquay and Bristol, with the Eastern Airways brand present on routes from the East coast, the Midlands, the North of England and North East Scotland.
Eastern Airways is based at Humberside with key hubs in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Southampton and a network of scheduled routes primarily serving business communities from 21 airports in the UK, Ireland, Norway and France.
Report by Mark Caswell