September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
Regional UK airports have formed a new group to promote their services as a deadline for the possible closure of Blackpool International Airport looms.
Blackpool airport’s owner Balfour Beatty has set the deadline of tomorrow (October 7) to find a new buyer or it will be closed from October 15. Currently three airlines use the airport: Jet 2, Aer Lingus Regional and Citywing.
A group of airports including Exeter, Norwich, Southend, Newquay, Durham and Blackpool have set up the Regional and Business Airport Group to promote the advantages of regional airports and lobby the government to reduce the impact of regulations and taxes such as APD on smaller airports.
If Blackpool is closed, it will be latest blow to the regional airport industry following the end of flights at Manston in Kent earlier this year.
Other regional airports such as Cardiff and Prestwick have also been taken over by regional governments. While Cambridge Airport will lose its Cityjet services from October 25, only five months after the flights started.
A study by the Smith Institute think tank this summer said that regional airports were suffering due to a lack of direct flights to Heathrow.
The report, entitled ‘Making global connections: The potential of the UK’s regional airports’, found that only six UK regional airports now had flights to Heathrow – this compares to 26 regional airports with Heathrow services in the 1980s.
“This lack of connectivity resulted in the point-to-point traffic not having services to London and consequently these communities suffered considerably in terms of economic investment and growth,” said the report, which has been submitted to the Airports Commission.