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British Airways planes grounded at Norwich Airport because of coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 18:49 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:45 19 March 2020

British Airways aircraft parked up at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

British Airways aircraft parked up at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

A number of British Airways planes are currently parked at Norwich Airport – but can’t fly because of the coronavirus outbreak.

British Airways aircraft parked up at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBritish Airways aircraft parked up at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It is an unusual sight for motorists driving along the NDR and A140 close to the airport – as the union flag covered plane tails, a distinct symbol of British Airways, were clearly visible from the road.

The airline does not usually fly in or out of Norwich.

But with an unprecedented amount of planes on the ground rather than in the air because of coronavirus, a number of the airline’s CityFlyers were brought to Norwich.

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The planes have come from London City Airport which apparently has no more room on its runways for grounded aircraft.

It comes as few flights are operating in and out of Norwich Airport itself – with most airlines reducing non-essential travel to the minimum.

A Norwich Airport spokeswoman said: “London City Airport hasn’t got any spare space to park aircraft which would normally be in the air; we are seeing an unprecedented level of aircraft not flying. So the planes are parked up at Norwich which isn’t that unusual.

“There are very few flights going in and out of Norwich; all the helicopter flights out to the oil rigs are, however, operating, but everything else is at a minimum.”

It comes as the bosses of EasyJet and Lufthansa have said some airlines may not survive without government support if the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Norwich Airport. Pic: ArchantNorwich Airport. Pic: Archant

The warnings came just hours after Qantas became the latest major airline to cancel its international flights.

At the same time India is reportedly preparing a rescue package to support its carriers.

Closer to home, Loganair has reduced its flying programme by more than half and the Aberdeen to Norwich route was reduced to two flights a day.

Other routes like the Norwich to Edinburgh was cancelled until May 31 and Norwich to Jersey on Mondays and Fridays were suspended for both April and May although the Saturday departure is still operating.

British Airways aircraft parked up at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBritish Airways aircraft parked up at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The CityFlyers, a franchise of British Airways, are smaller Embraer E170 and E190 aircraft that usually fly to destinations such as Milan, Rome and Malaga.

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