Businesses have got their first taste of a new Norwich flight path providing a direct route to one of Holland’s largest offshore energy hubs.

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Flybe franchise carrier Loganair is set to launch a new weekday service between Norwich Airport and the northern Dutch city of Den Helder – in a bid to cut journey times for energy workers in the East of England.

A service operating Monday to Friday from March 4 will fly to the costal city, which has a burgeoning oil and gas industry plus trade links with energy companies in Norfolk and Suffolk.

And while the new route is aimed at the energy sector, business chiefs are also hopeful that it will establish new links for the tourism, horticulture and agricultural trades.

Roger Hage, director of business development for Loganair, said the connection will provide support to the two region’s economies.

Continental connection

Dutch business chiefs want to establish agricultural and tourism links between Norwich and Den Helder with the launch of a flight connection.

Jeroen Noot, account manager and regional affairs for Den Helder chamber of commerce, believes the two sectors could be boosted by the new link, which he hopes will encourage travellers from Norfolk to take day trips and holidays in the Dutch region.

He said: “It is a great addition in terms of the service to the offshore sector, and I think the link to the East of England is obvious as we have a a very large agricultural sector which has links to the UK. I hope it will bring a stronger connection between these two sectors. A lot of companies in Den Helder are active in the development of plant seed and have a large share of the world market. They have locations all over the world, and this route makes it easier for them to get to their locations in England.

“We also have a lot of tourism here – it is popular for people who want to see a traditional Dutch town, and could prove popular with people in the East of England as well.”

Meanwhile, Markes Groot, managing director of VVV, promoting tourism in Den Helder, said: “It is only a short flight from Norwich, which is very efficient, so we hope to get more and more tourists and business coming here in the future.”

He said: “Primarily East Anglia and north Netherlands both have strong offshore energy industries and we are trying to establish a link between the two because a lot of personnel from the east are travelling to Den Helder to go offshore.

“What we are trying to do is serve a niche market that is heading to Den Helder and make it easier for them. The route will be less hassle and less expensive and add support to the two regions and their economy. It will be the most direct way of getting there without having to use ground transport like rail or road.”

The new flight, which uses a 31-seater Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft, will leave Norwich at 10.20am and arrive at Den Helder at 12.10pm local time, before a return service leaves Den Helder at 2.30pm, arriving in Norwich at 2.20pm.

It aims to provide an alternative solution to the current route to Den Helder, in which workers have to fly to the Amsterdam airport of Schiphol before travelling north to the port city by car or train.

Celia Anderson, executive director of the East of England Energy Group, said: “There are a lot of energy workers going to Den Helder and this flight means it is more accessible and quicker to get to.

“The primary benefit is access and helping people who are working in the energy sector. It also provides an opportunity for people from Den Helder to come across to the East of England and build relationships with companies on the other side of the North Sea as well.”

Andrew Bell, chief executive of Norwich Airport, added: “The new Den Helder service further cements Norwich International’s credentials as a transport hub for the southern North Sea. The ability to connect through Norwich to Den Helder for passengers originating in Manchester, or indeed locations further afield such as Glasgow, offers a convenience that has not existed in the past.”

7 comments

  • Can Anderson prove that there are lots of energy workers going to Den Helder or is this more EEEG rubbish being spouted by an unqualified jobsworth ?.

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    "V"

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Burgeoning implies the oil and gas business is new in Den Helder-if my memory serves me correctly the port has been playing a part for at least forty years .

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • Looks to me to be significantly cheaper than KLM who charge outrageous prices on the basis of current 'monopoly'. It's not only energy people who'll use this route!

    Report this comment

    Lise

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • I went there twice last year, train connections from Schipol are good and fast apart from Sundays. Flight expensive trains cheapish.

    Report this comment

    Tony

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I agree Malaga. Norwich 'International' I think the trades descriptions act can be brought into action there. I would like to go to Alicante, not to Exeter or Newquay again this year. Easyjet haven't even released their Stansted summer flights to Alicante yet, there is a huge untapped potential for Norwich if only someone would stop sitting on their hands and do something about it.

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Yes, Bruce. Agree. I have given up on Norwich Airport. It is five years since it lost its scheduled flights to mainland Spain. Since then not a single flight - not even a holiday flight! Considering the airport lost half its footfall when its Spanish flights went, there must clearly be a demand that is being unfulfilled. Shame because every year I make flights to and from Spain to Norfolk. But not a penny of all my considerable expenditure goes into the local economy. As for flying KLM via Schipol, Forget it! It is enormously expensive and last time in enquired I was offered a route which required three separate flights!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • I'm in the process of trying to sort out a summer holiday with my family this year, we were rather hoping we might get to the Costa Blanca perhaps for some sun, they may be a tad disappointed when I offer them the popular destination of Den Helder instead.

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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