Plymouth-Gatwick Stops

SOUTHWEST ENGLAND’s regional airport at Plymouth has lost its air link to London after Air Southwest announced closure of the loss-making Gatwick route.  The flights, which operated from Plymouth via Newquay, ceased on January 31.  The decision follows the takeover of Air Southwest by Humberside-based Eastern Airways in September 2010.
The closure is a setback for Plymouth Airport, whose parent company Sutton Harbour Holdings sold the carrier.  “The flights were just not being used enough and Gatwick’s landing charges are due to rise in February,” an Air Southwest spokesman explained.
Flybe, which flies from Newquay to Gatwick, has offered to carry passengers booked with Air Southwest from the Cornish airport.  However, Flybe cannot operate from Plymouth as its 78-seat Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s are too big for the runway length.
The carrier, which uses 50-seat Dash 8s from Plymouth, said it would continue to fly to Leeds/Bradford, Bristol, Manchester, Jersey, Guernsey, Dublin, Cork and Glasgow.  (EC)