A plant exchange today took place today (28th October 2016) to celebrate the start of Flybe’s new route between Leeds Bradford Airport and Cornwall Airport Newquay.
Operating for the first time as part of its 2016-17 Winter schedule, the three times weekly service operated by Europe’s largest regional airline, has been made possible under the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund.
Nigel Eaton of RHS Garden Harlow Carr travelled to Newquay on the inaugural flight to present a white rose to the world-famous Eden Project, with the Eden Project’s Managing Director, Gordon Seabright, reciprocating with a ‘China Clay’ Camellia.
Judith Donovan CBE, Non-Executive Chair of the Eden Project, Chair of the tourism partnership Destination Dales and a former Chair of the Yorkshire Tourist Board, was invited on to the inaugural flight due to her connection with the two regions. “Cornwall and Yorkshire are two of the most distinct and celebrated places in the UK,” she commented. “This new flight will help forge stronger bonds between them and provide a great service for leisure visitors and the business communities.”
Each tourist attraction will display the plants at their respective attractions. The rose that was presented represented the traditional Yorkshire Rose plant that is currently out of season, and the white Camellia the new connection between Cornwall and the Leeds City Region.
Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said:
It is fantastic to see Flybe launch this new direct air service between Leeds Bradford Airport and Newquay. Passengers and businesses will benefit from faster journeys, while trade and tourism opportunities will be opened up in Yorkshire and Cornwall.
By supporting new regional air routes, the Government is driving investment and boosting growth across the whole of the UK.
Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer, Vincent Hodder commented:
With a scheduled flight time of just one hour and 20 minutes, Flybe is delighted to give its regional customers a convenient, alternate option to an otherwise six hour drive or eight hour train journey to and from Cornwall.
This is another perfect example of the importance of the Regional Air Connectivity Fund’s role in encouraging and supporting the UK regions and perfectly dovetails with Flybe’s commitment to connecting the UK regions ‘Faster than Road or Rail’.
Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development Director at Leeds Bradford Airport, said:
We are really pleased to mark the start of this important route in such a special way; this connection will help to support tourism in both regions. It’s also a fantastic connection for university students and businesses, cutting down journey times tremendously.
I’d like to thank all involved with today’s event and we are sure this route will be a great success for both the Leeds City Region and Cornwall. It’s all been made possible through the negotiations with government to introduce the route to the network and we are pleased to be expanding our Flybe offer from LBA. Added to the airline’s successful Belfast City service and the Glasgow route operated by its franchise partner, Loganair, we will now see more than 30 weekly Flybe flights available from Leeds Bradford Airport this winter.
Nigel Eaton, of RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate, said:
Cornwall and Yorkshire are two of the country’s tourism gems, with beautiful countryside, stunning coastlines and intriguing histories and people. Connecting the two with this quick, regular service between Leeds Bradford Airport and Newquay is great news for both counties, and for these two very popular but very different gardens.
It’s an honour to have been involved with this inaugural flight and plant swap and we look forward to welcoming lots of Cornish visitors to RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate throughout the coming seasons.
Eden Project’s Managing Director, Gordon Seabright, added:
The plant exchange is a fitting symbol of the relationship between Cornwall and Yorkshire – both famous for beautiful coasts, moors and gardens. We look forward to welcoming more visitors from the North thanks to this new and important link.
The Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund was launched last year as a way of encouraging new routes to and from UK regional airports and improving connectivity for business and leisure travellers. The start-up aid bidding competition was open to airports with fewer than five million passengers per year and allows air routes that are not currently commercially viable today to be introduced early, giving time for airlines to build passenger numbers and deliver a more sustainable service.