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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Talks to save Gatwick link
BA plane
BA is stopping its South West flights in October
Talks are continuing to preserve the South West's air link with Gatwick Airport.

British Airways (BA) is due to halt its Plymouth and Newquay services to the London airport in October.

Business leaders in the region are worried about the loss of the connection.

But two airlines, Air Wales and a new operator being started by the owners of Plymouth Airport, Sutton Harbour Holdings, have expressed interest in taking over the slots.

Air travel is vital to the success of the region
South West Regional Development Agency
Mike Anderson, from Devon, is one of many regular business air travellers who are now increasingly worried about who is going to fly between the South West and Gatwick.

He said: "At the moment, there's just total silence.

"I can't be the only one concerned. There must be thousands of businessman who are trying to plan onwards into the new year who don't know what's going to happen after the end of October."

It is nearly eight weeks since BA confirmed it was abandoning the daily air service to London, widely regarded as underpinning important parts of the region's economy.

The importance of improving air links with the capitol is emphasised by the South West Regional Development Agency.

The agency said: "We believe improved air travel is vital to the success of the region. Businesses are looking for better communications to improve competitiveness."

Airport plans rejected
01 Jul 03  |  Devon
Flights 'threat to tourism'
06 Jun 03  |  Cornwall
Airline aims to plug BA gap
04 Jun 03  |  Cornwall
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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