A new era has taken a step closer for Coventry Airport after a deal was reached to re-start cargo flights.
A total of 16 jobs have been created after flights have been introduced to Maastricht in the Netherlands, Lille in France and the Republic of Ireland capital Dublin after a six-figure deal was agreed with Atlantic Airlines which is part of the West Atlantic Group.
Sir Peter Rigby, owner of Coventry Airport, said this was a statement of intent to take the airport back to full operation.
“This is our first step on the way to becoming a commercially active airport once again,” he said.
“At the moment we have flying schools, business jets, general aviation and helicopter activity but signing the contract with Atlantic Airlines is an important milestone in terms of the airport moving back to where it was previously.
“Cargo services were moved to Birmingham Airport when Coventry Airport closed temporarily in December 2009 and it has been a target of mine to see these flights return to Coventry since I took over the airport last year.
“This is a positive milestone for the future of the business and a signal of our intent to continue driving Coventry Airport forward.”
Marc Watkins, business development manager at Coventry Airport, said the site’s central location in England was crucial in re-starting cargo flights.
He said: “Ten jobs have been created across the air traffic control, operation and fire departments while six jobs have been transferred from Birmingham due to the return of Atlantic Airlines.
“As a result of the resumption of cargo flights, we are already talking to other airlines to gain further business.”
Atlantic Airlines’ general manager Greg Little expressed the airline’s pleasure at returning to Coventry Airport.
He said: “We are delighted to return to Coventry Airport, our engineering base, and centre of operations.
“We will be working closely with our customers and the Coventry Airport team to develop additional air cargo services now that the airport has regained the capability to support this.”
Atlantic Airlines is part of the West Atlantic Group, Europe’s largest regional cargo operator.