Relaunch hope for routes axed by Flybe

Norwich International airport says it is hopeful of persuading another airline to operate flights on two routes to Spain axed by budget airline Flybe.

Norwich International airport says it is hopeful of persuading another airline to operate flights on two routes to Spain axed by budget airline Flybe.

Earlier this month Flybe announced it was withdrawing flights from Norwich to Malaga and Alicante from its winter timetable.

It claimed the airport's £3 development fee had a profound effect on ticket sales, a charge disputed by airport managing director Richard Jenner.

He said Flybe was also scrapping a service to Spain from Birmingham where there was no development tax.

Mr Jenner said the airport was making good progress persuading an alternative carrier to start operating the routes, with negotiations with two potential airlines under way.

But he admitted any new operator was unlikely to be ready to start flying to Malaga and Alicante from November when Flybe pulls out.

Most Read

Mr Jenner said: "We need someone to pick up these routes for the long term. We have a number of avenues we are pursuing.

"These things take time and we accept that we may not get it before the end of February or beginning of March, but we are committed to getting the routes up and running."

Peter Buckell, managing director of Sprowston-based travel agent Global Travel Lounge, said he was extremely disappointed that Flybe had pulled the routes, but was confident a replacement airline would be found.

He said: "Malaga and Alicante are very important destinations for us. Alicante is number one and Malaga is not far behind and people like flying from Norwich.

"It is popular in the winter when lots of older customers in particular like going for three or four weeks at a time.

"We estimate that when the service stops from Norwich, 50pc of our customers will transfer to Stansted and the remainder won't go. They don't like the long check-in time and Norwich is much more convenient."

Mr Buckell said he believed services to Alicante and Malaga from Norwich were viable 52 weeks of the year.

He said: "A number of the leading agents are meeting with the airport next week to see if we can secure the services. The airlines that are interested want reassuring that enough seats will be sold with the holiday operators.

"It maybe that the airport underwrites some of the seats as it used to do. I am confident a deal can be done."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter