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One of Liverpool’s best loved sons, Ken Dodd, was at Liverpool John Lennon Airport today (6 July 2009) armed with tickling sticks and jam butties to help launch Eastern Airways’ new flights from the airport.

As ever, comedian Ken was on form, entertaining airport and airline officials and passengers as the UK regional airline’s first scheduled flights from Liverpool to Aberdeen and Southampton took to the skies.

Ken is Honorary President of local Airport support group, the Friends of Liverpool Airport with the original idea of a friends organisation for the airport coming from him back in 1980.

The Humberside-based independent carrier has introduced three flights each weekday from Liverpool to Aberdeen and also three each weekday to Southampton.

“Ken is very much regarded as a British institution and we’re thrilled he was able to give our new Liverpool services a great send off,” said Roger Hage, Eastern Airways’ ground services manager. “He’s a truly great entertainer and has such a presence, which has made our launch day in Liverpool such a memorable one.”

Neil Pakey, deputy chief executive of Peel Airports, said: “We were ‘tickled pink’ when we heard Ken Dodd was kindly giving up some of his time to come down and help celebrate the launch of these important new services from the airport. He is a tremendous ambassador for the city and has long been a big supporter of the airport.”

Weekday services to Aberdeen depart Liverpool at 10.40am, 4.30pm and 7.20pm, arriving in Aberdeen at 11.50am, 5.50pm and 8.40pm. Flights leave Aberdeen at 6.40am, 2.30pm and 6.20pm, landing in Liverpool at 7.50am, 3.50pm and 7.40pm.

Southampton flights leave Liverpool on weekdays at 8.10am, 4.20pm and 8.10pm, landing at 9am, 5.20pm and 9.10pm. Flights depart Southampton at 9.30am, 3pm and 5.50pm, arriving in Liverpool at 10.20am, 4pm and 6.50pm.

The first passenger to check-in for the Southampton service from Liverpool was oil contractor Edward Smith, who happened to be from Knotty Ash. “These new flights from Liverpool are very convenient as I’ll be in Southampton for 9am. It’s ideal for me as it’s just 20 minutes from my front door to the airport,” added Mr Smith.

Eastern Airways is consistently rated one of the UK’s best on-time performers*, and its Liverpool schedules and timings are primarily aimed at business travellers from Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and North Wales.
Customer care is very much at the forefront of Eastern Airways service and on board all its flights, passengers receive a friendly welcome and a fully inclusive service, including complimentary drinks and snacks. There are no additional costs for hold baggage or choice of seat.

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