Published on : Friday, June 13, 2014
The Government announced last year that the vital air link was eligible for a Public Service Obligation and in March confirmed that it would provide a financial guarantee for the full four year duration.
Since then the Council has been working with the Department of Transport to develop tender documents inviting airlines to submit bids.
The contract notice was formally issued on 7 June and Adam Paynter, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Partnerships, is looking forward to receiving applications from a number of airlines.
“All airlines are eligible to apply to operate the route and we anticipate that the publication of the notice will attract a great deal of interest “ he said.
“The issue of the tender document means that we are on schedule to appoint an airline to operate the service from October as originally planned.“
Under European procurement rules airlines will have 61 days to submit their bids. These will then be assessed by the Council and the Department of Transport, with an announcement on the successful airline expected at the end of August.
“We are asking airlines to put forward bids to operate both morning and evening flights between Newquay and London” said Adam Paynter.
“The morning flight to London will need to arrive in time for passengers from Cornwall to be able to do business, with an evening flight timed to enable them to return to Cornwall the same day.
The morning flight from London to Cornwall will also need to ensure that people can come here to do business, and then return the same day.”
Chris Pomfret, Chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a significant step forward in securing our air links to a London hub airport from October onwards.
The tender has been carefully designed in consultation with the local business community to ensure that it works for business by allowing a full day in London or Cornwall, and we are confident that the airline industry will respond positively to this great opportunity.”
Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “This is an important step in Cornwall’s efforts to secure Government support for a sustainable air link between Newquay and London and I look forward to seeing the results of this competition.”
Stephen Gilbert, the MP for St Austell and Newquay, said “This is great news for the business community in Cornwall and for those who come to visit.
It means that we are a step closer to providing the certainty that they need to plan and I am proud to have played a role in ensuring that the vital Newquay to London airlink continues to serve Cornwall for years into the future.”
Peter Child MD of leading UK Ship Repairer A&P Falmouth, said” A&P is a key user of the Newquay air link, as are other leading marine companies in Cornwall like Pendennis and Seacore.
Operating from a Cornish base it is critical our customers, their crews, suppliers and engineering specialists can get to Falmouth quickly.
The air link to a major UK airport is absolutely vital to being able to deliver for our customers and operate successfully in Cornwall.”
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