CORNWALL can now boast a summer air link with the likes of Dubai following news that Flybe will run flights to Birmingham next year.
The new service from Newquay Cornwall Airport means passengers will have access to worldwide destinations offered by the Emirates airline, which operates from Birmingham.
It will begin on May 16, 2014, with flights operating seven days a week throughout the summer months.
Al Titterington, managing director at Newquay airport, said: “Flybe’s summer schedule already operates to Edinburgh, Belfast City and Newcastle as well as London Gatwick and Manchester and this new service is a boost for the Airport and Cornish residents.
“The possibility of flying further afield to places like Dubai will also become more convenient with Birmingham Airport giving access to Emirates’ worldwide network. The airport is continually looking to improve accessibility to and from Cornwall and the new Birmingham service will ultimately boost the economy by encouraging visitors.”
News of the new route comes after Flybe announced it was scrapping its Norwich service.
However, airline bosses also decided to extend the Newquay to London Gatwick service until the end of October next year – seven months longer than had been planned.
They had intended to scrap the air link to the capital at the end of March, saying it was economically unviable.
The change of heart has given the county’s business and community leaders fresh hope that a solution can be found to permanently safeguard the London link they say is vital to the county.
Chiefs at Cornwall Council and Newquay Cornwall Airport say they believe the future of the route depends on securing a government subsidy, called a Public Service Obligation (PSO), to make it profitable for whichever airline chooses to take it on.
They say they are confident an operator can be found, but warn that it could take until at least the end of next August to get the service off the ground.
With the extension of Flybe’s Gatwick service, there is now a hope that the current and new services will run on seamlessly, meaning business and tourism will not suffer as had been feared.