Loganair has announced plans for a new service between Norwich and Exeter.
The Scottish independent carrier will operate four flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) from July 12 for the summer season, moving to a twice weekly Monday and Friday service from September.
The route was previously operated by Flybe prior to its demise, and Loganair said that the resumption of the service meant that 42 of Flybe’s “lost 46 domestic routes” had now been restored.
Fares start from £49.99 each way for the 70-minute journey.
Loganair already operates seasonal flights from Norwich to Jersey, as well as routes to Aberdeen and Edinburgh (resuming July 12). From Exeter the carrier operates flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Loganair’s CEO Jonathan Hinkles said that “The need for domestic connectivity has been clearly recognised by the UK Government with its stated intention to reform Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights”, adding that “There is no doubt the high level of APD has historically rendered such links as Norwich to Exeter economically difficult to sustain”.
Meanwhile Norwich airport’s managing director Richard Pace reiterated the importance of the government’s promised reform of domestic APD, stating that “In launching these routes, Loganair is putting its trust in the UK Government to deliver on its promise to reduce domestic Air Passenger Duty which is critical to the recovery and sustainability of domestic flying”.
Loganair recently announced plans for new Teesside-Bristol and Derry-Liverpool routes, as the carrier continues to expand its UK regional services.
Alex McWhirter adds:
Exeter-Norwich is awkward and time-consuming by surface (rail or road).
Hence in 2015 the government introduced a Regional Air Connectivity Fund and Flybe benefitted from it.
It is unclear whether or not the above subsidy remains in place. Loganair has been contacted for comment.
Finally, I know some readers resent airport development fees, so note that Norwich levies a £10 charge.