Blackpool International Airport closes after last flight

Citywing plane leaves Blackpool for last time
Image caption Blackpool Airport closed after the 17:00 scheduled Citywing departure to the Isle of Man

The final commercial flight has taken off from the now-closed Blackpool International Airport.

Owners Balfour Beatty, which bought the site in 2008, put it up for sale in August but no buyer has been found.

Balfour Beatty said the site had made a loss for several years. On Tuesday, Blackpool Council said more should have been done to save the airport.

The final flight departed for the Isle of Man at 17:00 BST, marking the end of the airport's operations.

A spokesman said the airport was working "with the independent aviation businesses and tenants to understand if their operations can continue in the future".

"Working in partnership with the local authorities, regeneration plans are also being developed which will be designed to create future employment and sustainable economic development opportunities," he said.

Aerospace company BAE Systems said it was in talks with a number of operators to offer short-term use of its aviation facilities.

Blackpool's aviation history

  • Blackpool's affair with the air began in 1909, when a meeting of the Aero Club of the United Kingdom saw Frenchman Henri Farman take to the air at Squires Gate in front of 200,000 spectators
  • In 1932, such was the interest in aviation that the town had two airports - at Squires Gate and Stanley Park. Four years later, the former site was chosen to be Blackpool's only airport
  • By 1950, 25,000 passengers were passing through the airport to travel to the Isle of Man, Manchester, London, Leeds, Birmingham, Southport and Glasgow
  • Improvements through the decades saw passenger numbers and the choice of destinations increase and in 2006, a £2m refurbishment of the passenger terminal saw the airport gain the capacity to handle two million passengers a year

BBC News: The highs and lows of Blackpool Airport

Blackpool Council has also blamed the airport's "onerous contract" with Jet2 along with a failure to bring in new routes.

Flight operator Jet2 transferred its flights from Blackpool to Manchester on Friday.

The final day also saw another Citywing flight depart for the Isle of Man at 10:10 and an Aer Lingus aeroplane leave for Dublin at 15:20.

About 110 staff are employed at the airport, which served 235,000 passengers last year.

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