Talks are under way to attract new airlines to Cambridge airport in the wake of the last scheduled services being axed.
Marshall's in talks with new airlines
The three daily flights to Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, stopped on December 21. ScotAirways blamed the decision on the dramatic reduction in passenger numbers since the events of September 11.
Coupled with rumours that airport owners Marshall may leave the Newmarket Road site to make way for a massive housing development, after Cambridge city council earmarked the airfield as an ideal location for 9,000 new homes, there were fears it might sound the death knell for the city's airport.
But Terry Holloway, group support executive with the Marshall Group, said plans to expand the airport remained firmly in place -- the company has submitted outline proposals to build a new passenger terminal by 2003.
'Once we get permission we'll get detailed drawings prepared.
'At the same time we will be looking at the business,' he said.
'But there's a very firm intention on behalf of the company to improve the airport.'
Two recent studies - one by an independent travel consultant and one by the Cambridge Network on this website - have shown there is very strong demand for travel to a variety of European destinations, particularly Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, from Cambridge.
The joys of instant parking, 10-minute check-in times and shorter journey times are considered a bonus by business travellers.
Mr Holloway said the ScotAirways decision did not mean the end of scheduled services from Cambridge. 'I think it will only be a short period of time during which we have no scheduled flights,' he said.
'We are talking to a number of airlines. I'm sure it won't be very long before there are flight from Cambridge to Amsterdam and other European destinations.'
Cambridge is one of the best equipped city airports in the country with landing facilities for Boeing 757s and Airbus 321s.
A number of charter flights already operate from the city, catering especially for the racing and bloodstock trade at nearby Newmarket.
Founded in 1909, the Marshall Group has a turnover of £2.5bn and over 5,700 employees. Headquartered on a 900-acre site in Cambridge, Marshall has three principal arms to the business: Aerospace and Defence; Property; and Ventures.