Flights firm positive about Blackpool airport sale

Blackpool Airport one year on since its temporary closure
Blackpool Airport one year on since its temporary closure
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The boss of the only commercial air passenger firm operating at Blackpool Airport said he is confident about the future in the light of a possible sale of the site.

David Buck, from Citywing, which flies to the Isle of Man and Belfast twice a day from Squires Gate, said the move could open up new possibilities for his company “including new routes.”

Airport owner, Balfour Beatty, this month announced plans to put the Squires Gate site, closed in October 2014 with losses of £1.5m a year, back on the market.

It stated both the airport’s operating company and the site itself will be marketed and said “very early discussions” had been begun with a number of organisations regarding the potential sale.

In its statement it said: “Balfour Beatty is seeking a new owner who can take advantage of the significant opportunities that now exist, deliver strategic growth and develop the airport further.”

In 2015 Citywing relaunched its double-daily service between Blackpool and the Isle of Man.

David Buck said he was confident that even with an energy college being built on the site of the international terminal and parts of the site earmarked for business development, there was plenty of room nearer to the runway for a new terminal to be built.

He said: “There is plenty of scope. It is 260 acres, a huge site. The enterprise zone has allocated space for air activities it is sacrosanct.”

He said Citywing was enjoying strong passenger traffic between Blackpool and the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland

“We re-instated the route in April last year, since when it has proved consistently successful. Passenger numbers are up 20 per cent on last year for some months so we are really happy with how things are going.

“With this in mind I fully endorse the sentiments expressed in a statement from Balfour Beatty in the wake of its decision to put Blackpool Airport back on the market which said that since 2014 the airport had ‘operated profitably’ and presented ‘an opportunity for a new owner to benefit from a financially stable and profitable airport’.

“Citywing is of a size that can adapt swiftly to change and challenge.

“We’re looking at investing in new equipment to improve what is already a consistently well performing product and soon I shall be going to Blackpool to hold discussions about our requirements and aspirations for the future.

“As with Balfour Beatty, Citywing sees a potential new era dawning for Blackpool Airport, strengthened by its status, since April this year, as an Enterprise Zone. That status has the power to secure the future of the airport and unlock exciting development opportunities in which Citywing is looking forward to share.”