Minoan Air to end flights from Oxford

Greek airline Minoan Air is looking to terminate its services from Oxford on August 4 after a disagreement with the airport management.

Crete-based Minoan currently operates six flights per week from Oxford airport to Edinburgh, and three weekly services from Dublin. Both the routes had only started operating in March.

‘Minoan regrets to announce the termination of its schedule services from Oxford to Edinburgh and Dublin, due to our disagreement with Oxford Airport management on specific terms of cooperation deemed imperative for the viability of our flights,’ the airline said.

‘Following the fall out of our discussions, the airport had been given advance notice of our intentions thus allowing adequate time to explore all avenues to replace the carrier with another operator,’ it added.

Minoan was the first Greek airline to establish an operational base outside of Greece when it started flights from Oxford on March 4. Minoan uses Fokker turboprop 50 aircraft on the routes with capacity for 50 passengers, and said it had carried more than 6,000 passengers from Oxford since March. It also operates between Oxford and Dublin and runs charter flights across Europe.

The airport said: ‘It is with regret that we have to advise that Minoan Air have decided to cease flights to Edinburgh and Dublin effective August 4.’

‘Oxford airport is very disappointed with this announcement and is in dialogue with the airline to see that there is minimum disruption for all passengers,’ it said, adding: ‘The airport will be exploring all avenues to replace the carrier with another operator at the earliest opportunity.’

The move comes two years after Varsity Express commenced flights with an 18-seat aircraft on the route, but quit operations after flying for only one week.