Flybe has stepped in to save the Newquay to Southend air route, after it was dropped by EasyJet.

The company has announced a seventh route to Cornwall for summer with a three times weekly service on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Paul Simmons, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, says: “It was an easy decision to keep this route alive. Summer air services to Cornwall are an essential part of the tourism jigsaw that supports the South West’s leisure economy and Flybe is pleased to step in with an extended four-month summer season this year. It’s a win-win for everyone and demonstrates our commitment to Cornwall and to supporting the local economy through the development of fast, frequent and affordable leisure and business travel options.”

Newquay Cornwall Airport’s managing director, Al Titterington added: “This is great news from Flybe and a real boost for the airport as well as for Cornwall. We cannot overstate the importance of maintaining and developing leisure services into the county that help support the tourism economy. It’s critical for the region and so we’re naturally delighted that Flybe has stepped in to maintain this seasonal route from Southend.”

The news comes after Flybe’s announcement in December that it had agreed a commercial deal with Newquay Cornwall Airport that enables it to continue operating flights between Newquay and London Gatwick from March 30 until October 25, 2014 on a twice daily basis.

Cornwall Council is in the process of gaining Public Service Obligation (PSO) funding for the route from October 2014.

Starting at the same time as its new Southend flights in May will be Flybe’s daily service to Birmingham, boosting to seven the number of routes it will now operate in summer from Newquay that, as well as its year-round daily flights to Manchester also includes a Saturday service to Belfast City, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

However despite the front and centre use of a surfboard in the PR photo sent out by the company, surfers will be disappointed to hear that baggage restrictions mean that surfboards cannot be carried on the flights, unless they are less than five feet six inches in length.

Seats are on sale from Tuesday, January 28 at with one way fares from £24.99 including taxes and charges and effective for extended summer travel between May 16 and September 27, 2014.