The government has today (22 November 2021) confirmed that it will provide up to £4.3 million to fund direct flights between London and Newquay, and London and Dundee, in a major boost for regional links across the country.
Cornwall Council will receive up to £1.8 million over two years to run flights from London to Newquay in a reinstated public service obligation (PSO) agreement that will create hundreds of jobs and keep people connected as we build back better from the pandemic.
The government has also confirmed that it will provide up to £2.5 million to fund direct flights for a further 2 years between Dundee and London until 2023. This funding will keep an important route running, supporting regional links across the country.
The two PSO agreements ensure that people from both ends of the country can stay connected through direct flights and benefit from economic growth through encouraging tourism and business travel for years to come.
The airline Loganair will continue to run the flights to Dundee, operating from Dundee Airport to London City Airport. Flights from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Gatwick will start on 9 December 2021 and will be operated by Eastern Airways.
Robert Courts Aviation Minister said:
We’re maintaining these vital transport links, including the hugely popular London to Dundee and the reinstated Newquay to London routes, for people right across the country for tourism and business travel.
The government is fully behind UK regional connectivity and strengthening these routes as we build back better from the pandemic.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said:
It’s great news that flights between London City and Dundee have been secured for another 2 years.
As we work to improve transport connectivity across the whole country, this route will continue to allow quick and easy travel between Tayside and the UK capital, supporting economic growth and job creation.
Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Philip Desmonde, said:
It is vital for our residents and business community that direct flights between Newquay and London are maintained and I welcome the news that Eastern Airways will operate our key route. This PSO service not only protects Cornwall’s links with London but also offers excellent connectivity around the world into the future.
While connectivity is vital, we must seek to minimise the impact of air travel on the environment. The Council has worked with all parties to ensure that the environmental impact of the air route is kept to a minimum by selecting aircraft which have lower emissions and lower noise impacts, as well as aligning schedules to ensure capacity meets demand.
Aviation forms part of the Department for Transport’s commitment to decarbonise transport by 2050, which includes a number of initiatives and commitments to enable domestic aviation to achieve net zero.
Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said:
I welcome the extension of this contract which will continue to provide important connectivity for Dundee.
This service will benefit business travellers and offer visitors a direct route to experience the tourism offering in the city and surrounding area.
The Scottish Government is committed to continuing to support the service both through our direct contribution to the cost of the flights and our ongoing subsidy of Dundee Airport.
Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said:
Connecting all parts of the UK to London has always been core to our business and we are delighted that the service to Dundee has been extended for another 2 years. Working alongside Loganair and partners at both ends of the route, our ambition is for this service to develop and grow business and tourist travel between both cities.
This all ties into the government’s wider work to levelling up and close regional inequalities through the UK with stronger transport links.