Disruptions caused by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjoll, have contributed to the loss of flights out of London City Airport. Domestic routes to Plymouth and Newquay will be axed by Air Southwest from the 21st May, after the airline lost £300,000 to six days of delays in April.
Air Southwest called the decision a ‘surprise’ and a ‘disappointment,’ and cited flagging demand for the route as the impetus for the cull. The airline will continue to operate a daily route from Gatwick to Devon and Cornwall, but there will soon be no air link between central London and the southwest.
The cut has caused much upset in Plymouth, the airline’s home, with local businesses and even the Chambers of Commerce expressing dismay at the news. Peter Davis, director of Air Southwest, explained that the airline needed to ‘review its network’ of flights in order to make the ‘very best use of company resources.’
Devon and Cornwall have been linked to central London for barely a year, but the route had enjoyed some success in the capital, due largely to an advertising campaign that targeted harried Tube travellers. The flight ultimately became a popular business service, albeit one that never ballooned as expected.
Air Southwest has maintained bases at Plymouth and Newquay airports for a number of years, flying direct to the Channel Islands, the Irish Republic, and Manchester, among other destinations. The airline operates small turboprop aircraft such as the Bombardier Dash, a favourite of budget airline, Flybe.