New Norwich flights to Heathrow could be on the horizon

Norwich Airport. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Norwich Airport. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Destination, destination, destination.

Norwich International Airport could soon be the launching pad for holidays to a host of exotic places around the world, if a scheme by an airline takes off.

Flybe today announced that it was looking into establishing flights from Norwich to Heathrow Airport.

It raises the tantalising prospect of people from Norwich and Norfolk being able to connect with flights to 185 places reached from Heathrow in 84 countries.

The news comes after Flybe said it was 'heartened' by the proposed plan announced by Heathrow Airport to enter into immediate consultation following a government decision to build a third runway there.

The plan features a proposal for an extra 25,000 new flight movements by 2021 on existing runways, and these would be set aside for domestic flights.

Flybe CEO Saad Hammad said: 'It paves the way for us, as champions of regional connectivity, to jump quickly into action. I am confident we are now in a good position to explore the viability and commercial feasibility of introducing a number of critical new routes for domestic connectivity as soon as the new slots were to become available at Heathrow.'

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Richard Pace, managing director at Norwich Airport, said the potential new route would be a boost to the local economy.

He said: 'Regional economies need thriving regional airports. Connectivity to and from Norwich Airport plays a key role in the development of the economy in the East. The airport always welcomes the opportunity to review complimentary connections that further this objective.'

Currently the main long haul connection route from Norwich is with Dutch airline KLM via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

As well as Norwich, the other destinations being considered by Flybe for new Heathrow flights are Carlisle, Lake District, Dundee, Humberside, Liverpool, Londonderry, Prestwick, Durham Tees, Doncaster Sheffield, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports. Its most popular destinations are New York (JFK), Dubai, Dublin, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

In 2015 75 million passengers arrived and departed from Heathrow Airport - an average of 205,400 passengers per day.