Published on : Wednesday, February 8, 2017
In April, an average of 1,018 people a day passed through Newquay, an increase of 60 per cent on a year earlier. By May, passenger numbers had risen to 1,225 a day. The fastest-growing airport of Britain claimed that the uproar in the passenger numbers is all after they axed the £5 departure fee.
The figures are likely to be seized upon by the aviation industry, which is lobbying hard against Air Passenger Duty: the tax on departing travellers which adds between £13 and £73 to an adult fare. The APD is expected to rise to £75 from April.
Newquay imposed an additional fee on departing passengers, which is common with Norwich, and Blackpool airport (which is now dysfunctional). This fee imposed had to be paid locally. It was resented as it added two extra stages to the departure process: users had to pay at a machine and then hand the ticket to an official. After it was removed, Ryanair reinstated flights to and from Newquay.
Interestingly, Newquay offered more number of domestic routes this summer than the total of UK services from Heathrow and Gatwick combined.
London’s two biggest airports have a dozen destinations across the UK between them, while Newquay has 13 — from Aberdeen to the Scilly Isles. The depreciated value of sterling appears to be benefiting Newquay.