Passenger shortage leads to Plymouth Airport closure

Hotel News - 02/05/2011

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Plymouth City Airport is to close. The airport’s parent company says it cannot justify keeping the airport open as it is not getting enough passenger traffic.

The head of Sutton Harbour Group, which owns Plymouth City Airport, recently announced to the Stock Exchange that it is planning to close the airport in December. The airport, a key transport hub in Devon, has been operating at a loss.

Closure of the airport threatens the future of 56 jobs and will deprive the region of an important but little-used air-traffic hub. Nigel Godefroy, CEO of the airport’s parent company, said the weak economy and the loss of flights between Plymouth and London mean the airport is not economically viable.

In February, crucial flights linking the airport with London ended operations. This year, Plymouth Airport is expected to lose £1 million.

Mr Godefroy said his company has tried everything in an effort to do its best for Plymouth but the airport simply was not financially sustainable in the current situation. He added that the business was ultimately based on the ability to attract commercial air travellers. He said the airport was now flying fewer than 100 passengers a day.

Sutton Harbour Group has owned Plymouth City Airport for 11 years. In that time, it created a new airline called Air Southwest to connect Plymouth and London after the previous carrier pulled out of the service.

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