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  1. ITV Report

Flights from Cornwall to Heathrow will start next year

Heathrow is now the destination airport for flights from Cornwall Newquay Airport. Photo: PA Images

A new direct flight from Newquay Cornwall Airport to Heathrow is being hailed as a major boost for tourism. The announcement was made by the Transport Minister Chris Grayling in the House of Commons this morning.

Cornwall Council says it will open up the county to new international visitors, and create better transport links for people who live and work in the region.

It's been 20 years since Cornwall had a route to Heathrow. Credit: PA Images

The new direct flights between Newquay and Heathrow will begin from April 2019. The existing Cornwall to London service will move from Gatwick to Heathrow.

In addition, the number of return flights will increase from three to four a day, seven days a week, making it easier to travel between the capital and South West. The new route and frequency of flights has been secured for four years under the new Public Service Obligation agreement.

The service to Heathrow, the world’s second busiest airport for international travel, will help businesses in Cornwall to compete nationally and internationally, attracting inward investment and boosting tourism.

It will also provide much-improved access to Central London via the sixteen minute Heathrow Express service to Paddington, Piccadilly Line and eventually the new Crossrail service.

This sends a strong message that Cornwall is open for business. Having four direct flights a day to Europe’s busiest airport provides us with fantastic links and more regular access not just to London, but also to the rest of the world.

– Cllr Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council Leader
Theresa May visited Newquay Airport in 2016. Credit: ITV News

It was two years ago that Prime Minister Theresa May flew into Newquay hailing the expansion of Heathrow as good news for Cornwall.

Nearly half of all passengers using Newquay airport are travelling to London. Credit: PA Images

The flights will be operated by Flybe, which has struggled financially in recent months - blaming a fall in demand. The Exeter-based airline says however, that demand on the existing London route has almost doubled over the past four years.

40%
of all passengers using Cornwall Airport are flying to London.

The Chief Executive of Flybe, Christine Ourmieres-Widener, says that despite the proposed sale of the airline that nothing has changed and the business is continuing to deploy its strategy.

Passengers across Cornwall and the South West will enjoy more daily return flights to the capital than ever before, flying directly into Heathrow – the UK’s major international airport. This new route between Cornwall Airport Newquay and Heathrow Airport, supported by the government, will provide passengers with hundreds of links to global destinations opening up new travel and business opportunities.

– Chris Grayling MP, Transport Secretary