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Exeter Airport Expands

First Choice Holidays are making a major commitment to Exeter airport by offering year-round routes to the sun.

The holiday company will be basing an Airbus A320 at Exeter all year round, rather than just in the winter as before.

“First Choice are absolutely delighted to now offer year round holidays from Exeter, opening up three new routes to Corfu, Ibiza and Rhodes, in addition to our existing destinations including Lapland, Majorca, Portugal, Tenerife and Turkey,” explains the company’s product director, Jeannette Linfoot.

First Choice is also considering flying the new Boeing Dreamliner 787 plane from Exeter to long-haul destinations including the USA and Far East. The company will be the first in Europe to take delivery of the Dreamliner when it receives eight in 2009. By 2012 it will have 23 Dreamliners, while BA and Virgin will only receive their frist 787s that year.

The government’s white paper ‘The Future of Air Transport’ painted a bright future for Exeter airport, stating: "Exeter has a distinctive role in serving the local catchment area and there is significant scope for development without major environmental impacts".

Exeter airport was purchased from Devon County Council by Regional and City Airports in January, and the company has plans to redevelop the airport with new terminal facilities and a new departures building by 2010.

There are already long-haul flights from Exeter on two routes to Toronto, but the introduction of the Dreamliner would certainly open up new long-haul destinations from the region.

Written by: Nick Purdom