Cornwall Airport Newquay (CAN) will soon have a direct service to London Heathrow through Flybe, following years of development.

Launching the service on 31 March 2019, the airline will offer four daily flights operated with 78-seat Q400s.

Al Titterington, managing director, Cornwall Airport Newquay called it “fantastic news” for the airport, region and greater South West of the UK.

He said: “We have been working for many years to make sure that CAN has direct access to Europe’s busiest hub, and with this new service it opens not just a connection to the UK’s leading gateway, but also the world.” Adding further comment, Titterington states: “By having direct flights to Heathrow, it grows the strength of Newquay and Cornwall’s brand abroad, which is great for the local business community and those wanting to visit our beautiful county.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This new route will see the people of the south-west profit from a direct connection into our national hub airport even before it expands, building on the government’s ongoing commitment to the Newquay route, protecting choice and strengthening trade and travel opportunities for the whole UK.”

While the Cornwall Council said that with the new connection, “Cornwall’s access to the global marketplace after Brexit has been given a huge boost.”

The new route is supported by a Public Service Obligation (PSO), which is jointly funded by a government and Cornwall Council initiative. The Council explained in a statement: “The new route and frequency of flights has been secured for four years under the new Public Service Obligation agreement.”

The new route will replace the existing link between Cornwall Airport Newquay and Gatwick Airport.

“During the first eight months of 2018, over 119,000 passengers flew between CAN and Gatwick, a 12.8% increase over the same period of 2017,” explained Titterington. “While the Gatwick service will switch to Heathrow, the increased demand shows that CAN needs more services to the capital, and with Flybe offering up to four daily flights to Heathrow, up from three at the moment to Gatwick, we will be giving passengers an extra nine weekly departures to choose from.”

Flybe flights will operate into Terminal 2 of Heathrow, offering passengers the choice of more than 200 destinations across 85 countries to connect to.

John Holland Kaye, CEO at Heathrow Airport said: “We are delighted to secure a more regular service to Newquay, connecting exporters from Cornwall to global markets through Heathrow and making it easier for inward investors, tourists and students from all over the world to get there. Following the successful launch in 2016 of an Inverness service, the UK’s two furthest mainland airports will now be connected to the UK’s biggest port.”

Mark Duddridge, chair of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership commented: “The business community has waited more than 20 years for the resumption of regional flights to Heathrow so this announcement is hugely welcome.”

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