Cornwall will keep a direct route into a major London airport, as well as benefit from a new route to Amsterdam and increased flights to Manchester and Edinburgh, under a revised deal with Flybe.

Cornwall Council and the Department for Transport have agreed to a proposal from Flybe that the Newquay to London air route reverts to London Gatwick, operating four flights a day with effect from March 29 this year. 

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “Following an approach from Flybe and discussions over the added benefits of the new deal to Cornwall, it has been mutually agreed to revert Newquay’s London connection from Heathrow to Gatwick.

"There will be a new link to Amsterdam which will open up an important two way route to that part of Europe for business and leisure travellers.  We’ll also see an increase in connectivity with other UK cities with the service between Newquay and Edinburgh becoming year-round.

"There will also be an increase in the number of flights between Newquay and Manchester with a new early morning and late return flight providing an effective transatlantic link as well as enabling daily business trips to the area.”

The route to London will continue to operate under a Public Service Obligation which provides financial support, if required, to maintain the year-round service until 2022.

The new route will replace the current service between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London Heathrow, with the last flight operating on 28 March, 2020.

Flybe’s brand new route from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Amsterdam will also start on March 29, 2020.  The year-round service will provide hundreds of links to global destinations opening up a multitude of new travel and business opportunities. 

The services will connect with international airlines for convenient onward travel to destinations all over the world for those travelling out of Cornwall, as well as attracting visitors from overseas into Cornwall.

All routes will be operated by Flybe, soon to be rebranded as Virgin Connect. 

To further improve reliability across the new routes, the airline will be basing a second environmentally efficient Q400 turboprop aircraft at Cornwall Airport Newquay from the start of the summer season.

Cllr Brown added: “It’s vital for our residents that direct flights between Newquay and a major London airport continue to operate.  Some will miss the current direct route into London Heathrow but I know that the reinstatement of the direct route into London Gatwick will be popular with many travellers who have missed the connectivity it offers to some other international destinations. 

"We are confident that as well as making sure that we have a direct route into a major London airport, the additional benefits we have negotiated will mean that Cornwall Airport Newquay will continue to flourish.”

Flybe will continue to also operate services to Birmingham, London Southend, Leeds Bradford and Belfast City. Other airlines and routes operating from Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2020 include:

  • SAS service to Copenhagen
  • Blue Islands (Flybe franchise partner) services to Guernsey and Jersey
  • Eurowings services to Dusseldorf and Stuttgart
  • Ryanair services to Faro and Alicante
  • Loganair services to Newcastle, Aberdeen and Glasgow
  • Skybus services to Isles of Scilly
  • Aer Lingus Regional (operated by Stobart Air) services to Dublin and Cork

Cllr Brown added: “Flybe’s new route into Amsterdam and confirmation of the route to London Gatwick sends a strong message that Cornwall is open for business.  Regular access not just to and from London but also to the rest of the world will continue to attract more valuable international tourism.”