Paris and Amsterdam flights could be on the cards, says new Bournemouth Airport owner
THE new owner of Bournemouth Airport says key 'hub' routes such as Paris and Amsterdam and domestic services could be high on the list of priorities.
Sir Peter Rigby's company Regional and City Airports completed the purchase of the Hurn complex on Monday.
Bournemouth Airport sold for undisclosed sum to Regional and City Airports
And speaking to the Daily Echo outside the departures hall on Tuesday, Sir Peter, who describes himself as "an aviation man" said: "This airport has first class facilities and it is a critical part of the local and regional economy. We are delighted to be here.
"What we need is connectivity to other parts of the country and to hubs in Europe because that is the key to international travel. We have a list of carriers we would like to see here and negotiations are about to start. It may not happen in the next six months but I'd like to think we'd be looking at a year to 18 months."
Another destination that might be considered is Frankfurt
"It depends on where you can get to from the hubs, for example the Middle East and Asia. Potentially you can go anywhere."
RCA already owns Exeter, Coventry and Norwich airports and manages Solent, Derry and Blackpool.
"We have a really good team and a good track record in developing the businesses and building real relationships with the community," said Sir Peter.
Services to places like Paris and Amsterdam have been tried before from Bournemouth but were not sustained.
"We have made it work elsewhere," said Sir Peter.
"A classic example would be Norwich where we have KLM Regional and it is now the base for their UK operations. You have to build relationships and we are bringing some of those relationships with us. We are not starting from scratch but of course these don't happen overnight. They take time."
Sir Peter said the airport management would look at the controversial issue of the drop off charge, introduced by the Manchester Airports Group several years ago.
The current managing director of Bournemouth Airport, Paul Knight, will continue in post.
He said: "This is a very exciting day for the airport and the future looks very bright."
Story courtesy of the Daily Echo Bournemouth.