Runway improvements to get underway

Skybus coming in to land Figures were boosted by more passengers using Skybus after helicopter services ended

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Resurfacing work is set to go ahead on two of the four grass runways at Land's End Airport.

It comes after the company that provides air and sea links to the Isles Of Scilly reported a big rise in pre-tax profits.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company said its turnover increased by 7.2% last year.

The figures were boosted by more passengers using Skybus after helicopter services ended in October.

Andrew May, the chairman of the company, said: "Our strong cash position means we will continue to invest in strengthening the route, including plans to resurface two of the four grass runways at Land's End Airport this calendar year."

Following a number of delays owing to waterlogged ground, the company now intends to surface to the runways with tar macadam.

It has also spent £2m on upgrading its Scillonian passenger ship and work on freight vessels Gry Maritha and Lyonesse Lady to extend their life until at least 2018.

It also completed a £1m terminal building at Land's End Airport.

The company added it had created 50 new jobs, including pilots, engineers, fire crew and customer service staff, increasing its total workforce to more than 200.

The company said it would continue to invest in strengthening the route.

Daily flights by British International Helicopters to the Isles of Scilly ended in October with the company citing rising costs and falling passenger numbers as the reason.

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