Devon

Flybe aids passengers flying on scrapped route

Flybe tail
Image caption Flybe operate more than 180 routes to 65 European airports

Devon-based airline Flybe has stepped in to help passengers after Air Southwest halted its Plymouth to London Gatwick service.

Flights will end on 1 February as the company's new owners, Humberside-based Eastern Airways, seeks to cut costs.

A combination of falling passenger numbers and a rise of 18% in Gatwick's landing charges were also factors.

Flybe is now the region's only airline offering a service from Cornwall to London with no flights from Devon.

A spokesperson for Flybe said all Air Southwest passengers were being contacted and offered an alternative Flybe flight "guaranteed to be within 24 hours of their original booking".

Where this was not possible, the company said bookings could be amended "at no extra cost, provided the passenger contacts Flybe within seven days".

Tim Jones, from Devon and Cornwall Business Council, described the Air Southwest move as a blow to the region.

"There's no way of trying to dress it up, it's bad news for Plymouth and the South West's economy," he said.

Air Southwest, which was founded in 2003, scrapped its service to London City Airport last May.

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