Leading Blackpool business figures have called on the new owners of Blackpool Airport to encourage more flights bringing visitors to the resort.
The airport’s operating company Blackpool Airport Limited has been put up for sale by parent company Balfour Beatty and progress is being keenly watched in the resort.
Hugh Evans, from the Chamber of Commerce, said they were looking forward to working closely with whoever took over.
He said: “The airport is a vital part of the county’s transport infrastructure and we would hope that the new owners, whoever they may be, would work to maintain the current level of services and maximise its potential.
“There are issues but the fact airline Jet 2 are making it work shows it has great potential.
“Providing the destinations are viable, then there is no reason why the airport cannot go forward to greater things.
“But what we would really like to see is flights bringing visitors into Blackpool.
“It is great to have a local airport for the people in Lancashire to fly to their holidays from but we need to also bring visitors in from outside to Lancashire’s tourism offering.
“You only have to look at when the Open golf was on at Lytham and the number of private jets flying in at that time. We have to promote Blackpool as an international destination in its own right.”
Claire Smith from Stay Blackpool, the hoteliers’ group, said: “The airport is brilliant.
“Everyone who uses it says how convenient and quick it is, but it does seem strange that while it does all these flights to various overseas destinations, not enough was done to get people coming into Blackpool and the Fylde.
“In the past, the tourism offer might not have been there, but now we have a quality offer, excellent value and something for everyone whatever the weather.
“We have something unique here and there is no reason why we should not do more to fill those planes flying to Spain and other places with visitors for Blackpool on the return flights.”
Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire said: “Having visited very recently, I know there’s a genuine opportunity awaiting any new owner with vision.”