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Warning to travellers over Blackpool Airport

ABTA are warning passengers to keep in touch with airlines after the news that Blackpool Airport could close.

The owners say that its been losing money for years and unless a buyer is found it may have only two weeks.

Its the third biggest airport in the North West.

The Association of British Travel Agents say passengers should keep in touch with their tour operators.

Jet2 'surprise' at Blackpool Airport closure threat

Flight operator Jet2 says the threat of closure the Blackpool Airport has come as a 'surprise'.

A spokesperson for the company said:

"Today’s announcement has come as a surprise to us. It is our intention to continue operating flights as normal from Blackpool Airport.

"Should the airport make the decision to close, contingency plans will be in place and we will do everything we can to support both our loyal Jet2.com and Jet2holidays staff and customers.”

– Jet2 spokesperson

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Blackpool council 'disappointed' over airport closure threat

Blackpool City Council has released at statement after it was revealed Blackpool Airport could close operations if no buyer is found.

The statement, from Cllr John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“We have been aware that Balfour Beatty have been making significant losses at the airport, however, the speed of the decision comes as a shock and we are naturally disappointed.

“Our first concern is, of course, for customers and those who are overseas or are due to be overseas at the time of the intended closure date, as well as those who have existing bookings.

“We want to know what is going to happen to those bookings and return arrangements and ensure they are dealt with properly to the satisfaction of the customers.

“We will be seeking answers from Balfour Beatty and the airlines over these issues immediately.

“From a wider point of view, this is likely the end of an era for the airport as a commercial passenger flight terminal which is a great shame. “We are very disappointed with how things have gone and we do feel that more could have been done by all concerned to stimulate demand and enhance the airport to increase its popularity."

– Cllr John Jones

Blackpool Airport faces 'closure' if no buyer found

Blackpool Airport's operating company says it may have to close airport operations if a buyer can not be found.

Blackpool Airport may have to close operations if a buyer can not be found Credit: Creative Commons

A statement by the airport said: "On 28 August 2014, we announced our intention to find a buyer for the airport operating company. The airport operations have been making a loss for a number of years and we are currently exploring a number of options in an attempt to secure the future of the airport.

"We regretfully confirm that if no agreement can be reached before 7 October 2014 which ensures the viability of its operations, then it is likely that the airport operations will close. In this event, we expect that the last commercial flights will take place on Wednesday 15 October 2014.

"We apologise for the uncertainty this will cause over the coming weeks and we recommend that any affected passengers contact their airline."

Barrow among 'unhappiest' places in the UK

Barrow-in-Furness has been named as the "unhappiest" place in the country according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Barrow Town Hall Credit: ITV Granada

The ONS compiles reports on wellbeing from various factors including "health, relationships, job satisfaction, economic security, education, environmental conditions".

Barrow and South Ribble were in the five least happy areas of the UK, along with Dartford in Kent, Torridge in Devon and Maldon, Essex

Virgin Trains to run direct Blackpool to London service

Virgin Trains is to run a new direct service from Blackpool to London, after the company was given the green light from rail regulators to start direct services to Euston station from the resort.

The new daily service will depart from Blackpool North Credit: PA Images

The new service will start in December and is part of a range of service improvements on the West Coast Main Line route that coincide with the award of Virgin Trains' extended franchise.

The service will run from Blackpool North on weekdays departing at 5.25am, arriving at Euston at 8.34am.

The return service leaves at 4.33pm and gets in to Blackpool at 7.31pm.

Previously, passengers would have to change at Preston to get to the capital.

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Manchester Airport Group passenger numbers up

Passenger levels rose at all four airports operated by the Manchester Airports Group (Mag) last month.

MAG saw passenger numbers rise across its airports Credit: PA Images

Stansted numbers increased 11.6% to 2.03 million in August 2014 compared with August last year, while the number of passengers handled at Manchester airport rose 8.2% to 2.56 million.

East Midlands airport enjoyed a rise of 4.3% to 620,000, while Bournemouth was up 2.8% to 97,000.

Together, the four airports handled 8.9% more passengers last month than in August 2013. In the 12 months ending August 2014 the total for the four airports was 45.58 million - a 6.3% increase on the figure for the 12 months ending August 2013.

Could £1bn investment mean more transport misery?

A £1bn investment into Manchester's transport network will help create 40,000 new jobs, according to a report out today from the city council. The expansion of Manchester's Metrolink is just one of the schemes that will benefit from the three-year project.

The report comes as city leaders anticipate increasing levels of frustration among commuters who've faced disruption in the city centre in recent months. Ashley Derricott has the details

Transforming Manchester's future

Credit: ITV Granada

Manchester city centre will undergo changes over the next three years its claimed will be as significant as the period after the bomb in 1996. A new report says a three year investment plan will see projects totalling a billion pounds. The programme is known as Grow and planners and business people hope it'll help Manchester's city centre to flourish for years to come. Projects include the Metrolink second city crossing, the redevelopment of Victoria Station and the regeneration of St Peter’s Square and the Civic Quarter.

Credit: ITV Granada

“Manchester is Britain’s fastest-growing city and a place which has a real sense of ambition and momentum. City centre growth means more investment, more jobs and more opportunities."

– Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council

Young women 'desperate to work' but 'stigmatised', report finds

Credit: PA

Hundreds of thousands of young women who want to work cannot do so because the advice, training and support they receive has them competing for a limited number of poorly paid jobs, according to a new report published by Young Women’s Trust today.

859 women classed as NEETS, aged between 18-24, were interviewed - including a focus group in Blackburn.

According to the poll, female NEETs are three times more likely than male NEETs to have been told by careers advisors to think about becoming care workers, nannies, nurses or hairdressers. Male NEETs are at least six times more likely to be told to think about becoming IT technicians, construction workers or electricians and plumbers.

Credit: PA

This is despite the fact that there are approximately two jobs for every qualified construction worker and five qualified practitioners chasing each job in hair and beauty.

Nearly one in four women NEETs (23%) has been offered a zero hours contract and one in five has been offered a job paying less than the National Minimum Wage. There is similar exploitation of male NEETS but women have fewer choices in the first place.

Carole Easton, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, said:

"It makes no sense to consign hundreds of thousands of young women to worklessness, totally wasting their talents and making them an economic burden."

– Carole Easton, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust
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