December 20 2014 Latest news:
Ben Woods , Business writer
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Holidaymakers have put Norwich International Airport on course for lift-off this year after it achieved a record surge in passenger traffic.
Increased popularity of its summer flights – including more travellers using its KLM service to Amsterdam – have helped it achieve an 11pc year-on-year rise in passenger numbers.
The announcement comes as an added boost of confidence for the region’s transport hub after airlines Thomson Airways and Loganair confirmed they would be basing new aircraft at the site this year – a move which could create up to 20 new jobs.
But it was the region’s burgeoning energy industry that helped it reach its biggest rise in passenger traffic, with the number of workers flying to the Southern North Sea increasing by 20pc.
Andrew Bell, chief executive of Norwich International Airport, said the continued rise followed a exceptional summer season last year when it saw a 50pc surge in holidaymakers coming through the airport.
“The overall popularity of the Amsterdam route and the fact that KLM are now flying four flights from Norwich provides more options, which, in turn, encourages more people to use the service,” Mr Bell said.
“As far as the strategy going forward for this year, it is not that complicated. We want to identify what people want within our catchment area – especially holidaymakers and business travellers. We have already made some good traction and now we are looking towards the winter of 2014 and the summer of 2015 to see what we can achieve next.”
This week, the airport revealed a boost for holidaymakers when it confirmed that Air Malta would be adding four extra flights starting from Tuesday April 8 to meet a fresh demand for holidays to the area during the Spring and Easter period.
The additional flights help to bolster the airport’s summer portfolio, which follows Thomson/ First Choice’s announcement in November that it would be offering flights to Corfu, Dalaman in Turkey, Ibiza, Tunisia, Palma in Majorca and Tenerife for the Summer – including earlier flight times from Norwich because it would be basing a plane at the site.
Meanwhile, Loganair – which will base two planes at the airport from the end of March – will run flights from Manchester three times a day, while Guernsey routes will operate between May and September, with flights set to depart on Sunday afternoons.
Question marks surround the fate of several development projects in and around King’s Lynn after the developers behind the project went into administration.