Blackpool Airport faces closure

Blackpool airport faces closure

Blackpool Airport is on the brink of closure unless a buyer can be found in the next few days.

The regional airport said that if no agreement is reached by Tuesday October 7, it is expected the last commercial flights will take place on Wednesday October 15.

Three airlines - Jet2, Stobart Air and Citywing - use Blackpool, flying to more than a dozen destinations including Tenerife, Lanzarote, Malaga in Spain, Faro in Portugal and Ibiza, as well as Belfast and Dublin.

The airport's owners are engineering company Balfour Beatty which took over in 2008. Words:PA

A statement on the airport's website said: "On August 28 2014, we announced our intention to find a buyer for the airport operating company. The airport operations have been making a loss for a number of years and we are currently exploring a number of options in an attempt to secure the future of the airport.

"We regretfully confirm that if no agreement can be reached before October 7 2014 which ensures the viability of its operations, then it is likely that the airport operations will close. In this event, we expect that the last commercial flights will take place on Wednesday October 15 2014.

"We apologise for the uncertainty this will cause over the coming weeks and we recommend that any affected passengers contact their airline to confirm travel arrangements."

Balfour Beatty added: "Balfour Beatty can confirm that Blackpool Airport is exploring a number of options to secure a viable future for the continuation of operations at the airport.

"We regret to advise that if no agreements can be reached to achieve this, then it is likely that the airport operation will close on October 16 2014. Balfour Beatty remains the owner of the Blackpool Airport site."

Around 100 staff work at the airport. Annual passenger numbers were as high as 550,000 in 2007 but had dipped to just over 235,000 by 2012, with last year's total recovering slightly to nearly 263,000.

UK's best (and worst) airports
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Blackpool Airport faces closure

The worst airport in the UK is Aberdeen Airport according to British travellers. The airport, which handles more than three million passengers per year, was given the thumbs down for its facilities including its baggage carousel area, which passengers said is in need of updating.

Luton Airport is in at number 14 and is the least favourite London airport for UK travellers. It's the fifth busiest UK airport and serves as a base for airlines such as easyJet, Monarch and Thomson Airways. One passenger wrote on airline review website Skytrax: "As a frequent flyer all I can say is how embarrassing this airport is as a gateway to our country."

London City Airport is small compared to the capital's four other international airports and is mainly used by business travellers. Passengers said the airport has "expensive parking," although it does offer free WiFi for all. The airport is busiest during the winter months when most airlines fly to top ski destinations.

London Stansted Airport is not the most favoured UK airport by British travellers and was blasted for its "extremely long queues at check-in". The airport located in Essex is the largest base for budget carrier Ryanair, with over 100 destinations served by the airline. In 2012, it was named the fourth busiest airline in the UK after Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.

Formerly known as Aldergrove Airport, Belfast International Airport lies near the village of Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. It's the busiest airport in Northern Ireland and is the second busiest on the island of Ireland, after Dublin Airport. Malaga, Faro and Alicante are the most popular international routes to and from Belfast International Airport, while Liverpool, Gatwick and Stansted are the busiest domestic routes.

Bristol Airport in North Somerset handles over 5.9 million passengers a year, with Amsterdam, Dublin and Edinburgh the most popular flight routes. It has one of the shortest international airport runways in the country at just 2,011 metres in length, which means large planes are rarely, preventing most long-distance flights.

Located in North West Leicestershire, East Midlands Airport serves the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. The airport has established itself as a hub for low-cost carriers, like, Ryanair and Monarch.

Edinburgh Airport is Scotland's busiest airport and its upgraded terminal building features new car parking facilities and a larger arrivals hall. There are plans for expansion at the airport, with passenger numbers expected to reach a whopping 26 million per year by 2030.

In at number seven is Glasgow Airport, which is located six miles west of the city centre and is Scotland's second busiest airport and the eighth busiest in Britain. The airlines with the biggest presence are British Airways and Loganair, and the busiest routes are the Netherlands, the UAE, Spain and Ireland.

Named after a famous Beatle, Liverpool John Lennon Airport picked up the sixth spot, connecting travellers to UK and European destinations. Around 4.5 million passengers pass through the airport each year. While there is no train station at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, there are shuttle buses from Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Hunts Cross.

Britain's busiest airport Heathrow was named the fifth best overall, but was voted the easiest airport to get to and from. Although it is served by Heathrow Express, which is one of the most expensive train journeys in the world, it is also served by several low-cost options, such as London Underground, Heathrow Connect and coach services. Travellers said Heathrow has a "great variety of shops and restaurants," such as Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, The Tin Goose and The Five Tuns.

Birmingham Airport was voted the fourth best British airport. Passengers said it is "compact and customer friendly". Birmingham Airport was also named the fourth easiest airport to get to in the UK, after Gatwick, Manchester and Heathrow Airports.

Newcastle Airport was voted by passengers as the easiest airport to travel through. Passengers of the airport commented on its simple layout and good choice of food and drink options, saying it is "easy to navigate and clean".

Britain's second busiest airport, London Gatwick Airport, handles more than 34 million passengers every year and came in second place, with passengers praising its friendly staff and large check-in areas.

Manchester Airport is Britain's best airport, according to UK travellers! The third busiest airport in the UK welcomes more than nine million passengers each year and hit the top spot for the best customer service, facilities and shopping, as well as the best bars and restaurants. Passengers commended it for being well organised, passenger-friendly and for its accessibility.

A new survey has revealed British travellers' favourite UK airports. The poll by Skyscanner asked 1,600 British flyers to rate the UK's airport on customer service, facilities, shopping, bars and restaurants, and ease of travelling through. Skyscanner's Victoria Bailie said the winning airport is one of Britain's busiest but "it still manages to keep passengers happy". Click through the gallery to find out which airport scooped the top spot...


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