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UK's Air Southwest celebrates fifth birthday

30th October 2008 - 14:57 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Air Southwest, the region's own low-fare airline has today celebrated its fifth anniversary and named two of its aircraft to further underline the airline's commitment to Plymouth and Newquay.

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Vivien Pengelly, today unveiled " City of Plymouth", at Plymouth City Airport and Cornwall County Council Leader David Whalley unveiled " County of Cornwall", at Newquay Cornwall Airport.

Since the airline's inception in 2003, Air Southwest has carried over 1.3 million customers across its route network which includes nine year-round destinations from Plymouth and eight year-round destinations from Newquay, where it is the largest operator of flights.

Air Southwest has grown rapidly since its first flight to London Gatwick from Plymouth and Newquay and now offers over 1,200 flights every month to and from Plymouth, Newquay, Bristol, London Gatwick, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Glasgow, Newcastle, Cork, Dublin and Jersey. Later this year the airline will start flying to winter ski destination Grenoble from Plymouth and Newquay Cornwall Airport.

Nigel Godefroy, Sutton Harbour Group Chief Executive, said: "Today is a real celebration of Air Southwest's contribution to the region. We are proud of our airline, and proud to be serving Plymouth and Newquay. And by naming two of our aircraft 'City of Plymouth' and 'County of Cornwall' we will be helping to promote both destinations and the region throughout our route network."

Mr Godefroy continued: " We have consistently delivered strong growth and a reputation for quality service. This year we have expanded our route network to include even more year-round flights"

He added: " What sustains these vitally important year-round services from the region is our unique combination of departures from both Plymouth and Newquay, and our fuel-efficient regional aircraft which are the right size for these routes. This formula allows us to operate frequent flights on a year-round basis, which is good for business and good for tourism."

Cornwall County Council Leader David Whalley added: " Part of the success of Cornwall's economy and continued prosperity is down to good quality air services" - they help connect businesses in the Duchy with other market places and ensure they remain competitive. It is not only important to increase inbound tourism and business, but also to have excellent air links because of its location."

Leader of Plymouth City Council Vivien Pengelly said: " It's great to see Air Southwest become such a success story here in Plymouth. Clearly the airport provides a key gateway to the city and is strategically important in attracting further business and leisure opportunities. We recognise the significance that Air Southwest has for the local business community and the crucial role air transport plays in supporting Plymouth's growing economy."

Earlier this year, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) statistics showed that Plymouth City Airport was the second fastest growing airport in the country with a 31% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers during June.

The news came after a joint survey by Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Air Southwest which found eighty-two per cent of Plymouth businesses believe that air links to the city are important to its economic prosperity, with London being the top destination for local business travellers.

Recently Air Southwest launched its summer 2009 schedules early giving tourism in the region an early boost for next year. All flights can be booked on-line at www.airsouthwest.com with fares starting from £29 one way including all taxes and charges.

 

The Shephard News Team

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