Commercial / Airline Scheduled Services Airplane Logo

One of the first airline services at Oxford
used the Miles M60 on a route from
East Midlands to Jersey in 1958
Oxford Airport, for the first time in 20 years, has recently introduced scheduled services to Jersey, and Geneva, our first ever international scheduled operation. Geneva flights operated by Baboo commence from 19th December 2009, aimed initially at the winter ski market. For the 2010 summer season, are undertaking weekly flights to and from Jersey between May to September for which seats or package holidays can be booked today.

The airport does not have a commercial terminal facility, but does have a dedicated business and private aviation centre which can host limited scheduled flights. We continue to explore niche opportunities for commercial services that can easily be undertaken within the facilities available.

The new business aviation centre can cater for the occasional operation for aircraft with 50-80 seats (ATR and de Havilland Dash-8 aircraft being ideally suited) and is particularly suitable for more frequent business-oriented shuttles with typical 19-30 seater turboprops (Beech 1900, Dornier 228/328, Metroliner, Let-410 and others).

Established UK commercial (scheduled) airline routes at other airports can be found at Flight Mapping for the UK, or for European airport destinations and service networks click here.

Scheduled services have been offered in the recent past including an Oxford-Cambridge shuttle (ceased operations March 2006) and routes to Jersey existed in the early 1990s and earlier during the 1950s and 1960s. Further commercial flight operations were never pursued due to the former control, ownership and focus of the key pilot training school, Oxford Aviation Academy.

Oxford Airport’s primary users are pilot training schools (40% of traffic), recreational general aviation, business, private and utility helicopters and business aviation, consisting of air taxis, chartered and private jets and turboprops (10-15% of traffic).

In 2007, Oxford Airport replaced its 33 year old main runway with a stronger and wider surface and installed an instrument landing system (ILS) permitting all weather, safer approaches. The new 1553m (5095ft) by 30m runway is fully grooved for enhanced friction characteristics in the wet and is essentially the same configuration as that found at London City Airport (LCY) as a Code 2C runway, permitting access for a variety of regional airline types including the popular Dash-8, ATR and BAe 146 (Avro) aircraft. Such types have already used Oxford in the past, either positioning privately, for training or for maintenance-related visits.

Current Focus

Our primary focus today is on developing services and facilities for the business aviation market (referred to occasionally as 'Corporate' or 'Executive' Aviation) which operates aircraft on a sole-use chartered or private basis. This has been driven by a significant decline in pilot training activity upon which the airport has been dependent for most of its 70 year history.

Future Opportunities

Nevertheless, we recognise the potential demand for limited commercial (scheduled) services on certain niche routes. Increased Air Taxi usage in recent times shows a growing market amongst business professionals for efficient door to door air services maximising productivity and indeed saving costs on wasted travel time and unnecessary overnight stopovers. Oxford also sees opportunities to develop engineering services for all types of aircraft that can access our new 5,095ft runway including regional aircraft, both jets and turboprops. Recently completed larger hangars now allow the airport to accommodate such aircraft for the first time at Oxford.

Several smaller turboprop and jet aircraft are quite capable in principle of utilising Oxford's mile long runway with what is the same landing distance as London's City airport. However, these aircraft types in the main are used more commonly for business travellers rather than for recreational or holiday travellers, with higher costs per seat mile. However, the advantage Oxford offers for the smaller regional or niche operator is that they can establish new routes without the threat of predatory moves by mainstream low-cost carriers with larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737. Such aircraft could never access Oxford on a commercial basis. From niche destinations such as east-west UK routes linking perhaps the South West to Cambridge, Nottingham or Newquay, to primary routes such as Edinburgh, Newcastle, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Belfast, Paris and Dublin, a clearly defined demand has been identified over the years from regular enquiries and in-depth demand and route analysis. Accordingly, considerations have been given to how this demand might be satisfied in the longer term, more than likely with the smaller regional turboprop types (30-50 seat aircraft).

Oxford Airport is superbly located geographically, demographically and in terms of accessibility – the only civil airport between Heathrow and Birmingham. The proximity of the M40, A34, A40 and A44 provides excellent access from potentially one of the most lucrative catchment areas in the country. As the only regional airport within a 55 mile radius, in the heart of the southern central UK area, the city of Oxford is relatively isolated for access to regular services when benchmarked against European norms.

With Oxfordshire resident's somewhat tedious access to commercial air services elsewhere, significant inward tourism and large catchment area population, we recognise there is some viability for the establishment of limited services.

Oxfordshire facts and figures:

  • There are 5.8m people within 60 minutes drive from Surrey to Solihull - excluding the population of west London, and well over 10m within 90 minutes drive

  • Oxfordshire GDP per capita is amongst the top 10 European sub regions and has amongst the highest GVA (gross value added) per capita in the UK – i.e. the wealthiest population

  • Oxfordshire has one of the strongest economies in the South East, the powerhouse of the UK economy, contributing £18bn to the exchequer in 2008

  • Oxfordshire has seen a 50% growth in its population over 30 years vs. 12% England average

  • There are no other commercial airports closer than +55 miles (BHX & LHR)

  • Oxford city is the third most visited city in England (outside of London) with 10m visitors annually, yet it has been to date, a city without access to nearby, regular air services

  • Oxford has the highest number of bus services per capita in the UK

  • Over 8.5 million train passenger trips are made to and from Oxfordshire a year, of which over 4.5m are seen at Oxford City station handling over 230 stopping trains a day. Nearby Reading, within the airport’s catchment zone, sees 14.4m passengers through its train station

  • The new Kidlington (Water Eaton) Chiltern Railways train station proposed for late 2012 will bring London passengers in just 58 minutes from Marylebone station - just over an hour to Oxford Airport with services every 30 minutes each way all day

  • Oxford's visitors make 9.6 million night stays and spend £523 million, of which 'business' tourism accounts for 25% of all trips and 31% of total spend

  • Oxford is centred amongst the prime visitor destinations outside of London, including Bath, the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Windsor

  • The region within a one hour drive of Oxford sees more overseas staying visits than the whole of Scotland and Wales put together, whilst Oxford itself sees nearly 30 times more than the Channel Islands

  • Local residents have to wake up at around 4:00am to catch a 7:30am international flight from the likes of Heathrow, Luton or Birmingham airports vs. up to two hours later for flights from Oxford Airport

  • Oxfordshire is the top-ranked region for high-tech services in the EU and the fastest growing high-tech region in the UK – the Thames Valley being the most economically successful region in Europe (Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Berkshire).

  • The 2012/13 Financial Times fDi report on 'European Cities & Regions of the Future' highlights that the Thames Valley was 10th overall amongst 253 cities and 110 regions in Europe for best prospects for inward investment and economic development, 3rd in the UK. Oxford city ranked No. 7 micro city, No.1 for human resources and No.9 for quality of life. Nearby Reading was 5th overall out of all cities in Europe, 1st overall for micro cities, 3rd in business friendliness and 4th in direct investment.

  • Oxfordshire companies include world class, globally competitive players in the fields of high performance engineering, biotechnology, medical instrumentation and green technologies. Oxford hosts the leading research hospital in the UK.

  • Oxfordshire has more publishers than London.

  • Oxford lies at the heart of the multi-billion pound ‘Motorsport Valley’, a business cluster of companies who dominate the fields of design and manufacture of components used in racing. They develop leading-edge technology used in Formula One that eventually gets absorbed in mainstream car technologies. The BMW mini is manufactured in Oxford, exported globally and the new pioneering electric mini is being tested in Oxford. Honda manufacture vehicles down the road in Swindon.

  • Oxford is highlighted as one of the eight ‘Buoyant Cities’ in the latest Centre for Cities report regarded as a prime candidate for major expansion

  • Oxford is destined to host the largest science park in the world and has been chosen to host the new European Space Agency research centre at Harwell. Down the road in Swindon is the new UK Space Agency (UKSA) which intends to evolve into a £40 billion/annum enterprise employing over 100,000 people by 2030. Swindon also hosts the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Natural Environment Research Council. Other Oxfordshire research centres include the Medical Research Council, Culham (world’s largest fusion experimental facility), JET and Rutherford Appleton laboratories and Milton Park, one of Europe’s largest multi-use business parks.

  • Oxford University is rated as the best in Europe or second best in the world, whilst Oxford Brookes University is rated as the best new university in the country. The University hosts the UK’s most prolific and best regarded technology transfer company – ISIS

  • The Defence Academy of the UK is based in Oxfordshire, responsible for the military’s post-graduate education and training.

  • The rate of growth in industry, technology, research and science-based businesses in the region over five years is predicted to be over double the EU average

  • Despite Oxford's relative isolation from quick access to scheduled air services today, the local area continues to attract a very significant amount of inward investment from companies, both starting-up, looking for new headquarters or relocating. Many of the reasons for this are highlighted in our Business Opportunities & Links

Such basic criteria would indicate at first glance a potentially greater demand than many established and emerging 'regional' airports in the UK and other parts of Europe, albeit that major hub and regional airports including Heathrow, Birmingham, Luton, Southampton and Bristol are a little over an hour’s drive away.

Where groups of individuals have need to go to the same destination at the same time, several local companies have taken advantage of the extensive air taxi and charter services available at Oxford. From six seat piston twins to 15 seat business jets, Oxford-based aircraft can fly to well over 1000 airfields in Europe and beyond, often much closer to one's intended destination unlike many scheduled services. These sole-use charter services are available on an ad-hoc basis to go wherever one wishes at any time, seven days a week and often at very short notice. Aircraft with greater capacities or capabilities are available for charter that could be positioned at Oxford, typically carrying between 20 to 50 passengers. A number of local businesses use regular shuttles from Oxford on a weekly, day-return or overnight basis to several destinations, including the Netherlands and France.

We welcome any enquiries and expressions of interest in the use or provision of scheduled services, company shuttles or ad-hoc charters.

Charter and Air Taxis

Oxford-Jersey Flights

Local Business / Resident

Business Opportunities & Links

Regional aircraft with access to Oxford Airport

Jetstream 31/41
ATR 42
Dornier 328
BAe 146
ATR 72
Dash 8

General Enquiries:   T: +44 (0)1865 290 600 / 710
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