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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 18:12 GMT 19:12 UK
Airline aims to plug BA gap
BA plane
BA is stopping its South West flights in October
A new airline for business people wanting to travel from Newquay to London City airport could be launched in September.

Exeter has also been earmarked for a new service to Amsterdam.

South West Air has been put together by a consortium of local businesses.

The move follows BA's decision to pull out of the Gatwick-Plymouth-Newquay route in October.

According to the consortium, planes will be hired from the Belgian airline VLM, which will also be leasing the routes.

'Very positive'

A 50-seater turboprop will fly from Newquay, via Exeter to arrive in London for 0800 every morning and return every evening.

There will also be another service, at about midday, from Exeter to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

A formal announcement is expected in the next few days.

Consortium spokesman Graham Buckley said funding was coming from private, as well as government and EU sources.

He said: "Things are moving along very quickly and we don't envisage any problems.

"The response from all parties concerned has been very positive."

Stag parties

Ticket prices would be about the same price as a first class train ticket.

He said it would be a big boost to the local economy.

"It's going to be a positive move for people wanting to access London, but also for people in central Europe who need access to the West Country."

He also admitted that the service to Amsterdam could be popular for stag parties.

He said: "That wasn't the driving force behind the route, but it could well be a factor."

The announcement by BA that it is to pull out of the Newquay-Plymouth-Gatwick service in October has resulted in two other proposals.

The owners of Plymouth City Airport say they are in advanced talks with BA to continue flights to Gatwick from Plymouth and Newquay.

Air Wales has also expressed a keen interest in running the route.

Deal secures airport's future
23 May 03  |  England
Air Wales cashes in
21 May 03  |  Devon
Air Wales to take over route
20 May 03  |  Devon
South West flights to end
19 May 03  |  Devon

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