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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Air Wales cashes in
Air Wales aircraft
Air Wales: Bullish on flights
Air Wales has signalled its confidence in running profitable flights between the South West and London.

BA announced this week that it is to pull out of the loss-making service between Gatwick, Newquay and Plymouth, in October.

Air Wales, which specialises in short-haul domestic flights, with a fleet of aircraft based at Plymouth, has signalled its interest in the service.

It made a slot application on Tuesday for the right to utilise the available landing and take off rights currently held by BA.

Managing director Adrian Thompson, said: "We are a regional airline, a much smaller operation.

"We don't have the high cost structure that a large airline like BA has.

"Our operating efficiency on these types of routes is a lot higher and that will enable us to be profitable."

Cost-effective

And he said that the firm was not afraid of competition from budget airline Ryanair which flies between Stansted and Newquay.

Mr Thompson said: "The cost of flights when we took over the Cork and Dublin routes dropped significantly when we took it over.

"So our policy would be to offer cost-effective fares to Gatwick.

"And of course Gatwick offers a significantly larger number of connections to Europe and the rest of the world than Stansted."

He would not reveal what tickets would cost.

"It's early days, we are doing our costings and we shall have an answer in the next week or 10 days."

Business leaders in Devon said the loss of the flights from Gatwick could lose the region millions of pounds in potential investment.

Some bosses have also claimed it could spell the end of hundreds of jobs in the South West, including 61 BA staff at Plymouth and 10 at Newquay.




SEE ALSO:
MPs tackle airline gap
20 May 03  |  Devon
South West flights to end
19 May 03  |  Devon
Flights to South West at risk
16 May 03  |  Devon
Firm 'to swoop on BA planes'
10 Mar 03  |  England
Airline considers reopening route
18 Dec 02  |  England


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