The currently unused Coxbank International Airport, a mile to the south of Audlem, is to get a new lease of life with the announcement that a budget airline newcomer, Bryan Air, is to launch a range of international and internal flights from there.
The airport was originally registered as an international airport by a local microlight enthusiast but has not been used in years.
The founder of Bryan Air, Bryan O'Leary, admits his business plan is similar to that used by his distant relative, Michael O'Leary, who runs Ryanair: "We will use small airports miles from anywhere and then bus passengers to the city they thought they were flying to," he said.
"We measured the exact distances from Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham and found that the ideal spot in between these major cities was Coxbank. And, lo and behold, we found there was a registered international airport there. It couldn't be better."
Brian O'Leary says the Coxbank airport will be known variously as Manchester, or Liverpool or Birmingham, depending on the flight passengers are booked on. Amazingly, the airport will also be used for short-haul internal flights between the three cities.
"Passengers will simply cross the terminal hut from one side to the other and get on a different bus, cutting out all that take-off and landing stuff," says Mr O'Leary. "We can even waive the airport landing taxes on those flights and passengers won't be charged for each item of baggage, as long as they carry it themselves and don't use an airport trolley.
"The 'flights' are also the most environmentally friendly in the world, and as we only use country lanes to get from the three cities to Coxbank, you save time by not getting stuck in the traffic jams on the M6."
The new airport, it's claimed, will require little in the way of new infrastructure. "A farm gate that used to keep the cows in the field, will now be left open to let the airport coaches through," an airport spokesman said.
"Anyway, the farmer can no longer afford to keep his cows so it's an ideal diversification. We can just get the coaches through as long as everyone in Coxbank parks responsibly and off the narrow lanes."
International flights will follow soon, using similar airports overseas to Ryanair. If you are going to Copenhagen in Denmark, for example, you will land conveniently in Sweden, which is only one country away.
In other countries, passengers will land many miles away from their destination, ignoring nearer airports that every other airline uses. "The long coach journeys gives passengers a chance to see the countryside and to recover from any jetlag before they arrive," says Bryan O'Leary.
He also denied that by the time the 99p base fares have airport tax, security tax, baggage handling, booking on-line fees, landing fees, excess baggage over 15kg fees and two hour coach journey fares added, it might have been cheaper to fly Club Class on British Airways.
"We defy you to find a more environmentally friendly, good value and convenient flight than our Manchester – Birmingham and Liverpool – Birmingham flights via Coxbank."
And we have to admit, on that score he may be right!
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