Gloucester expands into scheduled market

14th Aug 2007

Gloucestershire Airport in the UK is to get its first
scheduled flights.Their first destination will be the Isle of Man with, the expanding Isle of Man-based regional operator with the
double daily morning and evening service starting on Monday, 3
September. The twelve flights per week schedule will be complemented by
an onward service to Jersey at the weekends.  The route will be flown by
a Beechcraft 1900D, the popular 18-seat pressurised turboprop aircraft
with a fully stand up cabin interior. Journey time to the Isle of Man
will be less than one hour.

Gloucestershire Airport’s raised status as a scheduled service provider
is especially welcome for an airport which played such an important role
last month helping the county recover from its largest peacetime
emergency.  During the flood crisis it handled 100 emergency helicopter
flights and dispensed over 70,000 litres of fuel, keeping the rescue
helicopters on task with rapid despatch times.  The airport even became
a temporary home for eight people and three cats.


Gloucestershire (M5) Airport was chosen by as a perfect
departure point because of its remarkable location and easy
accessibility from Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Bristol and
the West Country, Central and South Wales, as well as its immediate
cities of Gloucester and Cheltenham, both just 10 minutes away from the
Airport.  However, it is the excellent road network surrounding
Gloucester (M5) that makes it such an easy airport to fly into.  The
north/south M5 motorway is less than five minutes away as is the A40
trunk road linking the Airport with Oxford and South Wales.  Other
nearby major roads put Swindon, Newbury, Salisbury and even Winchester
all within easy reach. 



Its compact, modern terminal is designed to transfer passengers from car
to aircraft in just a few minutes, cutting out all the time and stress
associated with big airports.  Check in time is just 30 minutes.  And,
for the first year of the service, passengers can also benefit from free
car parking.


“Gloucestershire Airport is an airport at the right place at the right
time,” said Mark Ryan, Airport Director, referring to the increasingly
uncomfortable experience that passengers are enduring travelling through
the London hubs and other large regional airports right now.  The
experience at Isle of Man Ronaldsway Airport is equally pleasant and
thus the whole flying experience becomes pleasant and efficient again.”


Gloucestershire Airport has the capability, with its existing facilities
to handle up to 250,000 passengers a year on aircraft no larger than an
ATR42.  “We are absolutely delighted to have this new link with Manx2 to
the Isle of Man and onwards to Jersey at the weekends,” he said, adding
that he is hopeful that more destinations would be added to the Airport
- especially Edinburgh and Southern Ireland.


Ann Reynolds, recently appointed Airport Director at the Isle of Man
Airport, explained the background to the choice of Gloucester (M5) as
its next destination from the Isle of Man.  “We have been conscious of a
shortfall in capacity to this part of the UK and the lack of a day
return service to the Island west of Gatwick and south of Birmingham. 


A huge amount of research was undertaken to pinpoint the best airport in
this area to serve the needs of the Isle of Man and Gloucester (M5) came
out on top with its remarkable accessibility.  The service will also
bring back simple and stress free air travel with the transfer between
plane and car undertaken in minutes, making the Isle of Man an even
easier place to take a break.  We are delighted that Manx2 have taken
this initiative and I am confident that once our passengers have
experienced the convenience and ease of this route, the route will do
very well.” 


As well as the obvious business advantages of the schedule, the new
route will open up the Isle of Man as a convenient short break leisure
destination from Gloucestershire and the surrounding area and also
provide a fine destination for Isle of Man residents to enjoy a short
break holiday. 


“The Isle of Man is a great place to relax, with terrific scenery,
history and a host of things to do,” said Ann.  “The fact that the Isle
of Man will be initially the only daily destination from Gloucester (M5)
Airport will ensure that the Island is extremely attractive to people
living in Gloucestershire,” said Ann.  “Isle of Man Airport is working
closely with our Department of Tourism and Leisure colleagues to
maximise the impact of this unique air service in the Airport’s
catchment area.” 


The route to Gloucester (M5) and the new weekend connection to Jersey
boosts Manx2’s route network from the Isle of Man to five destinations.
It currently serves Isle of Man from Leeds Bradford, Belfast
International, Belfast City and Blackpool.


“We believe this new service opens up many new opportunities to fly
visitors to the Isle of Man, whilst at the same time being a very
convenient route for Manx customers. Once they see just how many places
are easily accessible from Gloucester (M5), we think customers will
realise its true potential,” said Communications Director,
James Filleul.


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