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Heathrow urges Cornwall Council to decide as soon as possible on reinstating the NQY-LHR Public Service Obligation (PSO), and believes flights should resume in Summer 2021.

Delivered with the support of a waiver on the slot rules and regulations that aligns with the jointly and globally agreed industry position by IATA, ACI World and Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG). Below is the letter of support from Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye to Cornwall Council. 

Dear Nigel

As you are aware, Heathrow plays a key role in connecting the regions and nations of the UK to important global markets. As the UK’s only Hub airport, over half our annual passengers travel to longhaul destinations not served by any other UK airport - connecting all four corners of the UK to wideranging travel, tourism and trading opportunities throughout the world.

Even during the ongoing pandemic, Teesside Airport and the Isle of Man became the latest UK airports with a new direct flight to Heathrow - demonstrating the underlying demand for new domestic connections. We also believe it is vital that strategically important and ‘lifeline’ routes into Heathrow are protected, maintained and strengthened to support the Government’s ambitions on ‘levelling up’ and driving the economic recovery of regions across the UK.

The Newquay-Heathrow route is one of these vital ‘lifeline’ routes for the people and businesses of the South West and we believe Cornwall Council should make a decision as soon as possible to support any carrier applying to operate the Newquay to London PSO during the Summer 2021 season. In 2019 alone, over 140,000 people travelled between Newquay and Heathrow, and we support the reinstatement of these flights at the earliest possible opportunity.

We know that the ability to access slots for the season is also largely dependent on the allocation process and making slots available to operate. Heathrow has made it clear that a decision on any potential waiver for the season should be made as soon as possible by the Department for Transport (DfT), and that they should first and foremost support the IATA, ACI World and WWACG (together, the Worldwide Airports Slot Board – WASB) Global Agreement. Supporting this policy would encourage airlines to hand back full season slots by early February and would therefore have a direct impact on the potential ability to apply the PSO for the Newquay-Heathrow route for the full summer 2021 season.

We urge the council to support those airlines applying for the PSO, as well as make it clear to the DfT that the WASB industry agreement provides the best opportunity for the Newquay route to be restored and for Cornwall to benefit from all that a Heathrow connection brings. 

Yours Sincerly, 
John Holland-Kaye