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Norwich airport holiday passenger growth despite turbulence overseas

06:00 12 September 2015

Norwich International Airport.
 Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Norwich International Airport. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Norwich International Airport has recorded an uplift in holiday passenger numbers, despite facing heightened turbulence in tourist destinations sparked by the terrorist attack in Tunisia and the Greek financial crisis.

The transport hub saw holidaymakers flying from the airport grow 2pc year-on-year, from just under 101,000 to close to a 103,000.

The expansion came in spite of the financial blow caused by its decision to cancel its chartered flight to Tunisia at the end of June when a gunman with links to the Islamic State shot dead 38 people near the city of Sousse.

Elsewhere, Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports all enjoyed their busiest ever month in August, with record-breaking passenger numbers.

Richard Pace, general manager of Norwich International Airport, said: “Over all we are having a good year. We are seeing growth in important areas, including holiday flights and our international hub connectivity. That is against a backdrop of the terrible situation in Tunisia which has had an impact on our growth profile. Despite the terrible events, we have still been able to grow year-on-year.

He said while the events in Tunisia forced the airport to cancel its chartered flight to the country, the Greek economic crisis did not impact the performance of its service to Corfu, which was performing well.

An upsurge in demand for private chartered flights from Norwich-based SaxonAir also handed the airport a boost, growing its general aviation activity by 40pc.

The airport also saw 5pc growth in passengers using the Amsterdam hub connection, which allows travellers from Norwich to connect to long haul flights from Schiphol airport. The growth was partly fuelled by the increasing number of international students travelling to Norwich to study at the University of East Anglia, Mr Pace said.

Across the UK, some 7.33 million people passed through Heathrow in August, up 4pc on the same month last year.

Gatwick Airport saw 4.53 million passengers last month - up 3.7pc on 2014.

Manchester Airport recorded 2.6 million travellers last month, making it the busiest in the airport’s 77-year history. The year-on-year rise was 5.05pc.

The airport’s managing director, Ken O’Toole, said: “This has been a truly astounding summer and the number of people flying from the north of England has surpassed all forecasts, providing a boost for our airline, tour operators and retail partners, as well as creating jobs and boosting the local economy as a direct result.

“We continue to work hard to ensure services and capacity match the demand that continues to grow across our broad and diverse catchment area.”

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8 comments

  • Remember it is that not many years ago, when Norwich Airport actually had scheduled services into Europe, its footfall was 800,000pa. Losing those services meant passenger numbers falling by half. No matter what it says or does, it will never again regain anything like this loss unless or until it re-introduces scheduled overseas flights. No amount of holiday traffic, helicopter or private aircraft movements will get numbers back to anything like that level.

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    malaga flier

    Monday, September 14, 2015

  • From Norwich airport website " 07042014 NORWICH, Monday 7th April 2014 – Airport reports biggest increase in passenger numbers for seven years. Such a positive rise is attributed to growth in several sectors. The biggest increase was seen in holiday traffic, driven by ThomsonFirst Choice who doubled their summer 2013 activity boosting holiday charter passengers by almost 47%. Thus over 108,000 people enjoyed the benefits of flying to the sun from their local airport in the year." So holidaymakers down from 108000 to 103000 in just two years. They can make the figures say anything.

    Report this comment

    suffin else

    Monday, September 14, 2015

  • My recollection is that these figures are not hugely improved on the late 1990s despite the growth in air travel since then. Either way when will the turnstile charge be scrapped? That would improve numbers

    Report this comment

    RFK

    Monday, September 14, 2015

  • If only the hub option was viable for the majority of us. Unfortunately it is both expensive and time-consuming to fly from Norwich to Amsterdam and onwards. I have tried on numerous occasions to look at flight options to Malaga, but both the cost and need for changes (sometimes two) make it untenable. I have long ago given up on Norwich Airport as a flight option but wonder why it still lags behind many regional airports in its scheduled overseas options? Even when the FlyBe service to Exeter was re-introduced a while back it was impossible to use that to connect to Malaga as the flight from Norwich used to get in after the Malaga flight had left. I am afraid the airport's belief in the Amsterdam hub is overvalued and offers no real options for many short haul European connections. I am disappointed in the new owners because scheduled European flights is the only way the airport will grown to any degree of significance. Without them it will remain a small airport used mainly by holiday flights (seasonal), gas rig helicopters and private flights for the privileged few.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, September 14, 2015

  • Please tell me this story is a joke ! Norwich Airport is devoid of initiative ,without Oil Flights little to offer,Flights to the sun is required at a cost to compete with stansted...little chance !!

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, September 13, 2015

  • Why no mention of the routes that have been awarded 3 yrs of govt funding from next year? Paris, Dublin, Exeter and Newcastle? Come on Archant, this was announced weeks ago.

    Report this comment

    Ady1973

    Sunday, September 13, 2015

  • It can only increase by so much as the airport is sadly very limited by it's location.

    Report this comment

    Bloater

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • The passenger numbers would increase even more if NWI offered more flights to destinations that passengers wanted to go to in winter, Oops, silly me, that would call for forward planning and getting creative !.

    Report this comment

    peter99

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

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