Mystery over air service to Chester

From left, Brendon Kenny, George Starkey, James Brown and Ruth Brown

From left, Brendon Kenny, George Starkey, James Brown and Ruth Brown

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Mystery surrounds plans by an ‘airline’ to launch direct flights between the Isle of Man and Chester.

Bosses of Wales European Aviation (flyWEA) unveiled their plans in April at a business networking event at the Palace Hotel in Douglas.

Director James Brown said at the time: ‘We are looking at running direct air services from the Isle of Man to Chester at least three times a week between Monday and Friday and maybe one service a day on Saturday and Sunday.

‘We are ready to go and we are just waiting for the Civil Aviation Authority to give us all the authorities to start. Everything is in place - aircraft, crew, insurances. We will start with a 19-seater and once we know the demand is there we will move up to a 50-seater.’

Mr Brown said the new service had been ‘four or five years’ in the planning. He said the focus was getting into Chester and the North West but they were looking to fly to France, Holland and eventually Germany as well.

However, bosses at both Ronaldsway and Chester airport say they have never been approached by flyWEA - and in any case no commercial flights are allowed to operate out of Hawarden.

Ronaldsway airport director Ann Reynolds has now emailed Mr Brown - using the contact email on the company’s website – seeking clarification of the plans.

She wrote: ‘I am not aware of any talks with flyWEA, nor are the airport’s two commercial handling agents, and I wondered if you could give me a call to discuss your plans?’

Her email was returned with a delivery failure message.

Caroline Craft, managing director of the Aviation Park Group which owns Chester Airport, said there had been no communication with flyWEA recently or at any time over the last five years. ‘They have never approached me,’ she told iomtoday.

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