New flights are part of plans to secure the future of Blackpool Airport

That’s the message from council leader Councilor Lynn Williams, who warns that the resort’s Squires Gate center is ‘in competition with Manchester and Liverpool, who have both benefited from massive investment and subsidy’.

During a visit to Blackpool Airport in June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson challenged the council, which owns the airport, to look again at the possibility of bringing back commercial passenger flights.

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He said the council should look at what had been achieved at Teeside Airport, which now has ‘bars, duty-free shops, conference rooms and flights to holiday destinations in Europe’.

But in her Leader’s Blog, published this month, Councilor Williams says the future of the airport is not a political issue but “only a matter of financial risk”.

She writes: “I agree that flying to and from Blackpool to European destinations was a great experience with no queues and a quick arrival and departure in a minimally crowded terminal.

“I totally understand why people would love to have the opportunity to do this again, but it’s the fact that there were no queues that is the problem.

“At our peak in 2007 the airport lost £2million and during the 10 years of Balfour Beattie ownership it lost around £27million.

“Airports are losing money and that’s being offset by parking and retail revenue. The reality is we’ve never had the numbers to get our airport closer to breaking even.”

Councilor Williams also rejected Mr Johnson’s suggestion Blackpool should follow in the footsteps of other smaller regional airports such as Teesside as other smaller airports are also losing money.

She adds: “If the government were ready to cover the losses, then we can absolutely consider the restoration of European flights.

“Until then, with aircraft movements currently at their highest level in 20 years with successful operations including helicopters servicing Irish Sea rigs, pilot training and recent growth in private jet movements, our airport board will continue to ensure that we attract and create good jobs. and contracts for the airport to secure its future, to include ongoing discussions about flights to the Isle of Man.”

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