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Exeter-based airline Flybe confirms Newquay-Heathrow link will change to Gatwick

The airline will no longer fly from Newquay to Heathrow airport. Credit: ITV News

Exeter-based airline Flybe has confirmed it is switching it's Newquay-Heathrow flight back to Gatwick.

Rumours had spread that the troubled airline was axing the Cornish connection to Europe's busiest airport after just a year in operation.

Bosses have said the switch, which comes along with new routes to Amsterdam and Manchester, is a positive change for Newquay.

I’m pleased that these very positive changes mark the beginning of a stronger, more resilient service for our customers travelling to and from Cornwall. It further strengthens our commitment to providing regional connectivity to destinations across the UK, Europe and beyond.

As we complete our re-brand to Virgin Connect later this year, we look forward to delivering a really robust operation together with a great customer experience.

– Oli Byers, Interim Chief Commercial Officer, Flybe

St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double posted about the decision on Twitter and said while he is "disappointed", it is the best decision in light of the events involving the airline this week.

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It says on his website:

Whilst I am disappointed that Flybe has confirmed its decision to switch its London route from Newquay back to Gatwick I do accept the reasons for this. I appreciate many will be disappointed at losing the link to Heathrow and I share their disappointment. However, in the light of the events of this week the priority has to be securing the viability of the airline for the future whilst securing the best arrangements possible for Cornwall. The package of new routes and additional flights, together with the maintaining of the four times a day link to one of the major London airports provides a best available option for Cornwall. It also allows passengers to plan their flights to and from London after March. I have been working hard behind the scenes for some time to seek to keep the route at Heathrow but having met with representatives of Virgin, the major shareholder in Flybe, today I have had to accept that the proposed changes provide the best way forward for both the airline and Cornwall. I will continue to work with all concerned to ensure the best outcomes for Cornwall Airport Newquay and the Cornish economy.

– Steve Double MP

On Monday 14 January government ministers agreed a deal to rescue the struggling airline after negotiations with a consortium of firms that own it.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said she was "delighted" by the agreement, which will "keep the company operating, ensuring that UK regions remain connected".

This week Ryanair hit out at the Government's "badly-thought out bailout" of Flybe and demanded the same "tax holiday" for other airlines.

Earlier this week, the Government announced it will review air passenger duty (APD) on domestic routes among other measures in an effort to help struggling airline Flybe.

This prompted the owner of British Airways to file a complaint with the European Commission over the bailout after its boss branded it a "blatant misuse of public funds".