After months of discussions and planning, Cornwall Airport Newquay launched British Airways’ Public Service Obligation (PSO) operation to and from London Heathrow on 24 July 2020, following the administration of Flybe and the temporary absence of a vital connection to the UK capital.
“It was a big loss for the airport when Flybe collapsed, as they had built up a strong market on their multi-daily service into London Heathrow following the switch from London Gatwick last year,” comments Pete Downes, Managing Director, Cornwall Airport Newquay. “Between March 2019 and March 2020, the Heathrow link carried over 163,000 passengers. The flight operated with an average load factor of nearly 80%, clearly demonstrating its popularity.”
The UK’s flag carrier has launched the route at a time in which people are looking to return to summer holiday breaks, and businesses are starting to pick up again following the restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“July has historically been the peak month for Newquay-Heathrow traffic, with a load factor of 91% this time last year,” says Downes. “With people now looking to take a long-overdue summer break, this is the perfect time for British Airways to introduce its brand to the service. We look forward to working with them to establish this link into Heathrow and continuing to push the message of how the route not only opens up Cornwall to the capital, but the world.”
While the previous service had offered limited code-share connection opportunities via Heathrow’s Terminal 2, the offering by British Airways opens up many more opportunities for people to reach all corners of the world with a seamless process at Terminal 5.
“British Airways offers a huge network of destinations from Heathrow in the summer, creating a lot more variety for the Cornish community wanting to explore the world, at the same time opening many new markets for our local business community and advancing inbound tourism potential,” highlights Downes. “It is this level of service which sees the UK’s national carrier elevate the product offering substantially from anything that has been available to our passengers previously.”
British Airways will operate flights to Cornwall Airport Newquay daily using its fleet of A320s.