Posted on: 14 December 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Flybe’s franchise carrier Loganair is to base an aircraft at Norwich International Airport from March 2012 to offer a wider range of domestic air services that will ultimately create 15 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineering staff in the city.
The 31-seat Dornier 328 turboprop will enable the airline to provide an increased schedule of Flybe flights to Manchester. From Monday 5 March, there will be three return flights on the route every weekday.
From Sunday 25 March, a new daily non-stop Flybe service between Norwich and Exeter will also be introduced. The flight takes just 75 minutes and offers huge time savings versus a five- or six-hour journey by road or rail.
Loganair’s chief operating officer Jonathan Hinkles remarked, “We are delighted to be bringing our successful formula to Norwich of frequent flights, easy connections and a range of fares to suit both business and leisure travellers. The introduction of the Dornier 328 will enable us to provide more Flybe flights to Manchester and to restore links between Norwich and the West Country. Both will save customers from arduous road or rail journeys and we believe will prove hugely popular throughout the year.”
Loganair operates its scheduled services under a franchise agreement with Flybe. Its Dundee–Birmingham route has held the accolade of the UK’s most punctual domestic air service for the last three years, with 92.5% of flights operating on time in 2010 according to statistics published by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The airline is confident of replicating these high standards of reliability and punctuality on its new Norwich services, which will be operated on Loganair’s behalf by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cambridge-based Suckling Airways.
The new timetable between Norwich and Manchester will be launched on 5 March, until which time Flybe will maintain the present timetable of two flights each weekday and one on Sundays using its Bombardier Q400. The new timetable will offer departures from Norwich at 07:00, 15:05 and 18:15 with return flights leaving Manchester at 08:50, 16:45 and 19:45 each weekday. The evening flight in each direction will also operate on Sundays.
Norwich–Exeter services will be launched on 25 March. There will be a daily departure from Norwich at 10:15 (14:45 on Sundays) and a return flight from Exeter at 12:00 (16:30 on Sundays).