Newquay’s International Expansion – Edelweiss Reveals Zurich Flights

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Newquay will welcome Edelweiss from Zurich in July, joining five other international routes from the Cornish airport. Nearly a month and a half before Edelweiss touches down, easyJet will begin both Manchester and Glasgow, while the tender for London flights remains on-going.

Edelweiss A320
Edelweiss will begin Zurich to Newquay this summer. Photo: Edelweiss.

Swiss leisure airline Edelweiss announced Zurich to Cornwall Airport Newquay today, March 31st, with the new route taking off on July 4th. It’ll operate on Sundays for 14 weeks, with its last rotation taking place on September 26th. The schedule is:

  • Zurich to Newquay: 06:40-07:45
  • Newquay to Zurich: 08:35-11:30

This route has been expected for weeks. Edelweiss had filed it with OAG in mid-February, but the airline wasn’t ready to announce it publicly until now. Simple Flying believes that a deal had been struck with Newquay over landing and passenger charges, but that Edelweiss was waiting for more clarity over foreign tourists being allowed to enter the UK this summer.

Newquay Airport
Six international routes will operate into Newquay. Photo: Getty Images

Six international routes in 2021

Including Zurich, six international routes are bookable to Newquay this summer:

  1. Alicante: Ryanair, twice-weekly from May 2nd
  2. Cork: Aer Lingus Regional, once-weekly from June 5th
  3. Dublin: Aer Lingus Regional, five-weekly, from June 1st
  4. Düsseldorf: Eurowings, once-weekly from June 5th
  5. Faro: Ryanair, twice-weekly from May 1st
Newquay's international routes
Four airlines will operate internationally from Newquay. Image: GCMap

2018 was the best year for international

Newquay’s international scene really got going in 2016. According to UK CAA passenger data, the peak year was in 2018, with 104,000 international passengers across eight routes. In order of passenger traffic, the routes were:

  1. Dublin: 29,156 passengers
  2. Alicante: 27,173
  3. Faro: 20,868
  4. Hahn 17,617
  5. Cork: 3,581
  6. Düsseldorf: 2,678
  7. Stuttgart: 2,007
  8. Berlin Tegel: 1,135

Showing the importance of an international network to Newquay and for Cornwall’s tourism economy, six of the routes were driven by inbound tourists. This includes all four routes from Germany, with Cornwall very popular among this nationality. The appeal to Swiss tourists isn’t much of a leap.

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Newquay passengers
Newquay’s international passenger traffic had 23% of its total in 2018. Source: UK CAA.

easyJet coming

easyJet is starting Newquay from both Manchester and Glasgow this summer, the first time since 2015 that it has served the Cornish airport. The details are:

  • Glasgow: twice-weekly from May 25th, ending on September 4th
  • Manchester: twice-weekly from May 24th, rising to five-weekly in July and August, ending on October 29th

Both routes are happening because of the expected increase in staycation demand and, in the case of Manchester, capacity far below that in 2019 when Flybe operated it. In fact, even with easyJet, it’s still far below that level, with 25% fewer seats this summer than in summer 2019.

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It’s worse still for winter, with no Manchester flights bookable beyond October; in winter 2019, Flybe had nearly 15,000 passengers, the CAA shows. A low-frequency winter service with easyJet or Loganair might prove advantageous.

easyJet A320
easyJet will begin Manchester and Glasgow to Newquay from May. Photo: Getty Images.

London calling

In 2019, before coronavirus struck, London was the foundation of Newquay’s operation, with over half (55%) of its domestic traffic. The capital had over 196,000 passengers, mainly to Heathrow but also to Gatwick and Southend. British Airways will resume Heathrow from June 27th; it’ll operate four-weekly until September 4th. Meanwhile, a tender is taking place to see which airline will be funded to serve London on a year-round basis; expect an answer soon.

Which airline and airport do you think will be funded to serve London? Comment below!

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