1 APRIL 2019


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Article from BTNews 1 APRIL 2019

Newquay controversy

While many see the new Heathrow – Cornwall air route as the saviour of Flybe (see in this issue), the move from Gatwick to Heathrow has not gone down well with everyone who uses the former RAF St Mawgan.

“We were well pleased with the previous three-times-daily service to Gatwick”, said Mike Johnson, a hotelier, who lives in Newquay.  “The Embraer (195) jet was quick and with a 2+2 seat layout very comfortable.”

Mr Johnson pointed out that Gatwick was better for holiday connections although he admitted that Heathrow offered a larger selection of destinations and was ideal for the businessman.  “In theory the increase in flights to four times a day is a good thing but in practice with the much smaller Q400 aircraft, we are the losers”.  Flybe has lost 42 seats a day with the Bombardier offering a capacity of 78 passengers as against the Embraer’s 118.

Speaking yesterday he pointed out the drop in capacity was reflected with the fares on offer.  “It does look like the flights will fill up.  I am going to have to book well in advance to secure seats sensibly priced, and clearly people trying at the last moment are going to be very disappointed.”

persuaded Simon Calder of The Independent to take literally an independent view.  Simon had never flown a route which started one day at a particular airport, closed, and just a few hours later reopened to another airport in the same city.  He overnighted in Newquay.

This is what he had to say.

"I was able to sample the E195 and Q400 within 24 hours on more or less the same sector length, on both aircraft halfway along the cabin. The jet was certainly superior, judged on comfort and quiet, but in terms of speed there was little between them.

All other things being equal, I would always opt for the jet – but how often in aviation are all things equal?"

BBC Cornwall met BTN'S Malcolm Ginsberg who came down on the maiden inbound flight from Heathrow and also interviewed Mike Johnson who was Brymon Airways Cornwall manager when the airline flew the service via Plymouth Airport.  Cost was just under £100 return.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Simeon Bennett, London

I think the headline is a little disingenuous - a minor inconvenience, perhaps, but hardly a controversy.

John Jones, UK

Mike Johnson, could it be the Brymon staffer ?