A quarter of a Century after operating its first ever paid-for passenger flight from Land’s End to St Mary’s on Wednesday 22, August 1984, Skybus is launching a new special offer for customers this autumn.
Customers booking between today and next Thursday (27 August) and travelling up to the end of September this year, can book fully flexible return flights to the Isles of Scilly from just £90 per person and £60 for day trips – more details can be found at www.skybus25.co.uk
When Skybus began flights in 1984 there was just one pilot and one small aircraft – the airline has offered flights to the Scillies ever since. Today, the airline operates six aircraft and more than 57,000 people fly with Skybus every year from five UK airports including Land’s End, Newquay, Exeter, Bristol and Southampton. Last year the airline added the French destination of St Brieuc in Brittany to its route network.
Today a celebratory drinks reception and canapés is being organised by Skybus’ parent organisation, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company at Land’s End Airport. The event is being attended by Andrew George, MP for west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and will include a special presentation by the Company Chairman Andrew May to the first ever ticketed passenger – Mr Alan Sibley.
Andrew May, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, commented: “It is wonderful to be celebrating Skybus’ 25th anniversary. On behalf of the current Board of Directors, I pay tribute to our predecessors who had the vision, determination and drive to start what’s become a splendid airline. We’re all very proud of the contribution it makes to island life and the role it plays in the transport infrastructure. I think people in Cornwall and on the islands understand how important the service is to their lives.”
Over the 25 years Skybus has carried nearly one million customers and two million bags. As well as passengers, the airline carries the post between the Scillies and the mainland for the Royal Mail. Whilst tourism accounts for 85 per cent of the islands’ income and Skybus plays a significant role in getting visitors to and from the Scillies, it is used frequently by local residents year-round.
Jeff Marston, Chief Executive of Skybus said: “Skybus is a life-line service that has been phenomenally successful and has changed beyond recognition over the years. It’s fantastic to be marking our 25th anniversary and showing just how important the airline is in transport links with the Scillies – we’re firmly committed to the islands and this will always be our priority.”
In June, Skybus launched an appeal across the South West for people to come forward with memories and photographs to help celebrate the anniversary ahead of a commemorative brochure to be published later this year.
Andrew George, MP commented: “I well remember my first ever trip on Skybus. I was travelling with my late brother, Mark, after the Scillonian was unable to sail and we were offered seats on a plane from Land’s End. I admit to being a little alarmed as we swooped below the low cloud whilst coming in to land at St Mary’s. We suddenly faced the cliffs at the south of the Island. But discovered, to our relief, that this was merely the edge of the grass runway which took you up onto the airfield!”
He added: “Transport links to the Isles of Scilly are vital, though sometimes fragile, depending on the weather conditions. I congratulate all of those involved over the years who have worked to ensure that Skybus has been a sustainable and developing success.”
For more information about Skybus’ 25th anniversary visit www.skybus25.co.uk
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