Pleas to keep Cornwall and Devon flights to London fail

Air Southwest plane at Plymouth Airport
Image caption The airline blames falling passenger numbers for the cut

An attempt to persuade an airline to maintain air links between Cornwall and Devon to London has failed, Plymouth's Chamber of Commerce says.

The chamber said members met Air Southwest bosses on Thursday to try to persuade them to postpone axing the Newquay and Plymouth to Gatwick route.

However, the last flight was to leave on Monday as planned, the airline said.

The airline is blaming falling passenger numbers and high landing fees for the cut.

The flights are ending on 31 January as the company's new owners, Humberside-based Eastern Airways, seeks to cut costs.

An 18% rise in Gatwick's landing charges is also a factor.

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

The Devon and Cornwall Business Council described the decision as "inevitable", but a "major blow" to the economy in both counties.

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

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