The last commercial passenger airline operating from Blackpool Airport has said it has had a busy year since returning to Squires Gate.
Citywing, which employs 50 and carries 70,000 passengers a year, is celebrating the first anniversary of its services between Blackpool and the Isle of Man and Belfast.
Citywing’s Blackpool-Isle of Man link is very important to me and my management team
The service came back to the airport last April after a five-month break when the airport temporarily closed due to debts. Citywing’s managing director David Buck said: “The success of this first year is testimony to the potential we saw in reinstating the service last year and the hard work of our teams in Blackpool and the Isle of Man; it’s also a resounding vote of confidence from our customers.
“Blackpool’s not only a destination that is re-inventing itself for the 21st century and investing heavily to provide a wealth of quality family-focused attractions, but it’s also a hugely convenient gateway to the north west of England, the Lake District and beyond.
“Similarly, in the Isle of Man, regeneration schemes are bringing about a new look and feel.” Citywing’s sales and marketing manager Donna Sloane added: “Blackpool Airport is small and very passenger-friendly.
“ We’re getting really positive feedback from customers who appreciate our consistent on-time performance and the airport’s free wi-fi, refurbished check-in, departure and security area all in the same building, together with car parking right outside the door.”
One of Citywing’s most frequent users of the service is Mark Wilson, managing director of Sleepwell Hotels, which owns the Carousel in Blackpool and three hotels in the Isle of Man: the Claremont, the Chesterhouse and the Rutland.
He said: “Citywing’s Blackpool-Isle of Man link is very important to me and my management team. It’s a small-scale operation, so takes the stress out of travelling; it’s is very relaxing and a great way to commute between the two destinations.”
Philip Welsh, Blackpool Council’s head of marketing services, said: “We had around half a million extra visitors in 2015 so it’s vital to the town that we have this air link between Blackpool, the Isle of Man and Belfast.”