Isles of Scilly newsagents hit by weather

Skybus Skybus planes fly to the islands six days a week in good weather

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Isles of Scilly newsagents say bad weather and the axing of a helicopter link has hit their business.

Avril and Clive Mumford had newspapers brought in by helicopter until the service ended in October amid rising costs.

Daily newspaper deliveries by Skybus planes from Land's End airport have been affected by a waterlogged runway.

Skybus owner, Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said it was planning to put a hard surface on the grass runway.

'Pretty disastrous'

Mr Mumford said: "It's pretty disastrous, we are selling day old papers and losing money hand over fist."

The business, which counts newspapers as a "core" part of its income, has been in the same family for 108 years.

Mrs Mumford said: "Without newsprint I am redundant. It will be very tight if this weather goes on."

The couple said the end of the helicopter flights after nearly 50 years had hit other businesses.

Nick Sanders, from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said: "Our business was set up by the islanders for the islanders, so we do sympathise."

He said an announcement on giving the grass runway at Land's End airport a hard covering would be made "soon".

He said: "We are doing what we can to mitigate the situation."

However, Skybus added it was temporarily transferring all flights to Newquay Cornwall Airport until 6 December in light of further heavy rain being forecast for the weekend.

Managers said the move would allow time for the grass runway to dry out during better weather forecast for the middle of next week.

The islands, which have a population of 2,200, have plane flights six days a week in good weather and a ferry, the Scillonian, which only runs in the summer. A freight ferry runs to the islands every other day.

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