Monday, January 16, 2012

Flybe to test out Norwich option

REGIONAL airline Flybe and its franchise partner Loganair is to launch a new airlink between Ronaldsway and East Anglia.

Weekly services to Norwich International Airport will begin on Saturday, May 26, and will operate until September 8.

Ronaldsway airport director Ann Reynolds said Flybe were ‘putting a toe in the water’ but if the route was a success, it was her hope that the frequency of flights could be increased in the future beyond the initial Saturday-only service.

She said: ‘I’m delighted with this new route. We have been working with Norwich since back in 2009 and we do feel there is a fair bit of potential traffic.’

This is East Anglia’s first non-stop link with the Isle of Man in recent times, and Flybe said it was designed to offer an easy and convenient link for those holidaying in the island, visiting friends and relatives or travelling to major events like the TT.

Flybe and its partner Loganair will also offer a choice of connections between Norwich and the Isle of Man on other days via Manchester to enable passengers to find flights to suit their travel plans.

The direct flight will leave Norwich at 3.10pm on Saturdays, arriving into the Isle of Man at 4.20pm; return flights will leave the Isle of Man at 4.50pm and arrive in Norwich at 6pm.

Fares will start from £59.99 one-way, including all taxes.

Flybe/Loganair has also launched a weekly Southampton service from Norwich in addition to previously-announced links to Newquay, Exeter and Manchester.

Loganair’s chief operating officer, Jonathan Hinkles, said: ‘The response in Norwich to our announcement of more Manchester services and new Exeter links has been simply fantastic, which has given us confidence to add to our route network before the first flight has even taken to the air.

‘We fully expect that these two new summer services will be popular and urge passengers to book early at to find the cheapest fares.’

The carrier, which operates a dozen routes out of Ronaldsway, has provided a gloomy outlook for the domestic air travel market in an update on trading for the final quarter of last year.

In the report it said sales figures for the end of 2011 had been ‘particularly disappointing’ – and described conditions in the UK as ‘difficult and continuing to deteriorate’.


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