End of a short-haul era?

Posted by bex — 1 October 2008 at 4:10pm - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers at Newquay

Greenpeace volunteers at Newquay airport in March 2007

You might remember that, 18 months ago, we set up ticket exchanges at airports across the country, and called on British Airways to show genuine leadership instead of launching new, unnecessary short haul routes that just add to the huge threat to our climate caused by runaway aviation growth.

One of the routes we targeted was British Airways' inaugural flight from Newquay to Gatwick. Apparently, while BA and the government have yet to wake up and smell the carbon, the recession and high oil prices have begun to turn the short-haul flying culture sour. In less than a month's time, the Newquay to Gatwick route will be closed down. The Indy reports:

Plenty of interested parties think the world's busiest two-runway airport should become the world's busiest three-runway airport, with a new landing strip and a sixth terminal north of the existing perimeter.

Yet the force of their arguments is dwindling with the downturn in aviation. Over at Gatwick, the cuts have already started. Four weeks from today, the final BA flight departs Newquay for Gatwick. As the airline winds down its link between Cornwall and Sussex, it has cancelled a number of departures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays next month (and on other days is offering lots of cheap £44 fares).

When the route was launched 18 months ago, it sparked protests from Greenpeace, who insisted the link was not needed. They have not had to wait long to be proved right.


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