Surf’s up for domestic flyers

Air Southwest, Britain’s “local airline,” to use the carrier’s slogan, is to introduce a daily flight from Cardiff Airport to the comparatively tiny hub, Newquay. The route will begin operating on January 4 2011, with a Bombardier Dash 8-311 likely to be the aeroplane of choice for the half-hour journey.

Newquay Airport, located close to the city of Truro, the largest conurbation in the ceremonial county of Cornwall, handles 450,000 passengers every year, many of whom are UK residents travelling to local attractions such as the Eden Project and Watergate Bay on the famous Cornwall coastline.

Mike Coombes, director at the airline, said that travelling to the southwest by air takes an average three hours less than the road journey, as motorists must drive around the Bristol Channel, and between the Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, a journey of almost 200 miles.

“Cornwall is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year,” Mike said. "Newquay is a Mecca for surfing and a great resort for the whole family,” offering “beautiful beaches, wonderful walks and fine food.” The popular Fifteen Cornwall restaurant, a Jamie Oliver-branded outlet, is also in the Newquay area.

Prices for the Cardiff-Newquay route begin at £39 for standard class with an inclusive 20kg of hold luggage. Tickets bought under Air Southwest’s ‘Advantage’ scheme are charged at £115, and come bundled with an extra 10kg baggage allowance, access to executive lounges, and peace from screaming kids, who aren’t allowed into some first class suites.

Air Southwest is a major airline in the south of England, hosting 10 routes from Plymouth Airport, and 9 from Newquay. The carrier also has a sizeable base at Bristol. However, the flight from Cardiff to Newquay is the airline’s first route out of South Wales.

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