Blackpool International Airport

JET2 ‘SURPRISED’ BY SHOCK BLACKPOOL AIRPORT NEWS Ex-pats face uncertainty

THOUSANDS of ex-pats could be faced to find alternative flights to Spain from Blackpool following the shock news that the international Airport could shut this month (October). “On August 28 2014, we announced our intention to find a buyer for the airport operating company," said owners Balfour Beatty. "The airport operations have been making a loss – for a number of years

– and we are currently exploring a number of options in an attempt to secure the future of the airport," said Balfour Beatty. “We regretfully confirm that if no agreement can be reached before October 7 2014, which ensures the viability of its operations, then it is likely that the airport operations will close," said Balfour Beatty. "In this event, we expect that the last commercial flights will take place on Wednesday October 15 2014," said Balfour Beatty.

Ex-pats who board flights to Spain from Blackpool have been left reeling with the news. Balfour Beatty are looking for a buyer to take over the operating interests in the terminal, purchased for £14m in 2008.

“We apologise for the uncertainty this will cause over the coming weeks and we recommend that any affected passengers contact their airline to confirm travel arrangements,” added Balfour Beatty Three airlines fly out of the terminal at Blackpool, and worried passengers who may be currently in Spain, or those set to fly from Blackpool can contact them.

Details can be obtained from: Jet2.com (0333 300 0042), Stobart Air (0871 718 5000) and Citywing (0871 200 0440). In 2007 it went under new management with MAR Properties Ltd agreeing terms to take over full control of Blackpool Airport. In May 2008 Balfour Beatty purchased MAR Property’s 95% stake in the airport, with the remaining 5% stake held by Blackpool Borough Council. Passenger numbers peaked in 2007, with over 550,000 passing through the airport, falling to 235,238 in 2012; increasing by 11.6% to 262,630 in

2013 – Blackpool being the 32nd busiest airport in the UK. Since 2011 the airport has undergone changes on the airfield runways. In 2012 Blackpool launched a twice-weekly service to Albert – Picardie Airport, with Danish Air Transport. However, the flights were cancelled before the route was officially opened. In 2012, Jet2.com announced flights from Blackpool to Dalaman, Ibiza and Lanzarote, from 2013.

Jersey was replaced by Ibiza for the 2013 season. Ryanair discontinued their services from Blackpool in January 2009. And in 2013 it was announced that Jet2 would be cancelling their Belfast flight from Blackpool, because of continuous falling passenger figures.

Citywing became the only airline operating a daily flight to Belfast, via the Isle of Man. In 2013 passenger figures rose with 262,630 passengers using the facility. In 2014 Jet2 announced a new Spanish destination from Blackpool Airport to Reus, in eastern Spain, and also re-added Menorca to Blackpool flight schedules. In August 2014, Balfour Beatty announced that it was putting Blackpool Airport up for sale, six years after the company bought a 95% stake in the airport for £14m.

Blackpool airport flight destinations include Belfast, Dublin; Channel Islands; Jersey; Isle of Man; Portugal, Algarve; Spain, Murcia, Alicante-Elche; Turkey, Dalaman. Blackpool International Airport is based on the Fylde coast of Lancashire, at the former Squires Gate Airport site.

Aviation began in 1909 at Blackpool Airport – one of the first aviation sites in the UK, owned and operated by City Hopper Airports Limited. Executive flights, helicopter operations serving offshore oil and gas facilities in the Irish Sea, and the North West Air Ambulance service operate from Blackpool Airport, along with companies offering flying lessons and training flights.

A spokesperson from Jet2 said: "The announcement has come as a surprise to us. It is our intention to continue operating flights as normal from Blackpool Airport. "Should the airport make the decision to close, contingency plans will be in place and we will do everything we can to support both our loyal Jet2.com and Jet2holidays staff and customers.”

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45084/

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