This UK regional airport is preparing for a record busy summer

Apr 6, 2021

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One of the U.K.’s smallest regional airports is expecting to have one of its busiest summers.

Newquay Airport is planning to have 10 different airlines fly to and from its runways this summer — more than ever before. Newquay Airport is looking to transport travellers to new destinations — as well as welcoming visitors to Cornwall — following the announcement that Edelweiss plans to fly between Newquay and Zurich this summer.

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Swiss-owned Edelweiss will fly once a week — on Sundays — between Zurich (ZRH) and Newquay (NQY) for the summer season. Launching on 4 July, it’ll fly for 14 weeks through 26 September.

But Edelweiss isn’t the only airline looking to capitalise on the regional airport’s demand this summer. EasyJet is betting big on the airport as a domestic holiday hotspot. In February, the low-cost carrier announced it was going to launch two new routes to Newquay (NQY) this summer from Manchester (MAN) and Glasgow (GLA).

Elsewhere, Loganair plans to fly from NQY to Edinburgh (EDI; 30 April launch), Manchester (MAN; 3 May launch), Newcastle (NCL; 3 May launch), Aberdeen (ABZ; 3 May launch) and Teesside (MME; 17 May launch) in the U.K.

Eastern Airways will also launch a nonstop of its own from NQY to Teesside (MME) on 17 May. Aer Lingus will resume flying to Dublin (DUB) and Cork (ORK) on 31 May and 5 June, respectively. Ryanair will fly to both Faro (FAO) and Alicante (ALC) as of 1 May and 2 May, respectively. Eurowings, meanwhile, will fly nonstop to Dusseldorf (DUS).

Closer to home, British Airways will fly the short hop between London Heathrow (LHR) and NQY as of 1 July. Blue Islands, which is the regional airline of the Channel Islands, will resume flights to Jersey (JER) and Guernsey (GCI) as of 28 June. And finally, the airline of the Isles of Scilly, Skybus, will begin flying between NQY and Isles of Scilly (ISC) as of 17 May.

Tim Jeans, a director at Newquay Airport, told The Independent that there could be additional services in store as well.

“In addition to Eddedlweiss, Loganair, EasyJet and Eastern Airways are new, too,” Jeans said. “And from what we hear, there may be more to come.”

All of the route additions aren’t all too surprising, given the airport’s massive expansion permission it’s received. Late last month, Newquay Airport, which is owned by the local council, had been given an additional £7.8 million in funding. The additional funds are to make upgrades to the airport ahead of June’s G7 summit.

Related: Cornwall’s Newquay Airport gets £7.8 million for upgrades ahead of G7 summit

As of 12 April, holiday lets in England will be permitted to reopen. However, the return of international travel is less clear. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the return to international travel is still too early to predict, but at this time, it’s still on course for 17 May.

When international travel does return, it will take the form of a traffic light system based on the risk level of the destination country.

Related: What does the ‘traffic light’ travel announcement mean for my summer holiday?

For some carriers who plan to fly to Newquay this summer, such as Loganair, Eastern and EasyJet, they’re relying on passengers who want to visit Cornwall on staycations. With international travel still largely up in the air, some may find comfort in booking closer to home.

In 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic, Newquay Airport was one of the smaller operations in the U.K. Based on information from the CAA, nearly 462,000 passengers transited through NQY in 2019. By comparison, more than 28 million transited through London Stansted (STN), more than 1.7 million transited through Jersey (JER) and more than 850,000 transited through Isle of Man (IOM).

Since January, the airport has been closed due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

Featured photo by Hugh Hastings/Getty Images.

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