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Leading regional airline confirms details of first route to operate under Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund

27th January 2016

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, has today confirmed details of the first route to be operated under the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund. The new ‘one hour’ service between Exeter and Norwich Airports will feature as part of the airline’s 2016 Summer schedule and will start in time for Easter holiday travel on 24th March with a choice of six flights a week. Seats are on sale now at with one way fares from £17.49 including taxes and charges.

With the aim of providing improved connectivity with new transport connections for businesses and passengers from their local areas, the Department for Transport last year published a shortlist of new international and domestic routes to and from UK regional airports handling fewer than five million passengers a year. The Department then invited representations from interested parties interested in operating any of the routes commercially, and overall Flybe was successful in securing nearly half, of which Exeter to Norwich is one.

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “It is fantastic to see Flybe launch this new direct air service between Norwich and Exeter, offering significant journey time savings for passengers when it begins operations in time for Easter. Our smaller airports are vital engines for local economies, connecting the UK and opening up opportunities. That is why the Government is backing new regional air routes to drive investment and boost growth across the country.”

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer adds: “We are delighted to be the first airline to announce details of one of the many routes to be funded under the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund. Our new service between Exeter and Norwich is a great example of how Flybe connects the UK regions, supporting local communities and businesses.

“Our new direct cross-country route will take just 70 minutes, saving customers precious time by offering them the favourable option of not having to endure between five and seven long hours in a car or train.”

Matt Roach, Managing Director of Exeter Airport, commented: “Today’s announcement adds to Flybe’s growing network from Exeter. The fact that the Government is supporting the route with its Regional Air Connectivity Fund is further recognition of our role as a key economic driver in the region.”

The details of this new route follows the 2016 Summer schedule already announced for Exeter and Norwich for the productive utilisation of one of Flybe’s modern 118-seat Embraer195 jets after an agreement was reached between the airline and the Rigby Group, which owns both airports.

In concurring with comments made on the new route by his Exeter counterpart, General Manager at Norwich Airport, Richard Pace, added: “We are also looking forward to the start in March of new flights to Alicante and Malaga through our partnership with Flybe. These year-round services mark the first time in almost a decade that Norwich has offered scheduled sunshine flights to Spain.”

Flybe’s 2016 Summer schedule from Exeter now features a total of 18 routes offering a choice of up to 122 flights a week; and from Norwich, four routes offering up to 12 flights a week.


For further press information, or to arrange an interview, please contact the Flybe press office:
T: 0845 675 0681  E: [email protected]

Notes to Editors

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline – 194 routes serving 10 countries from 73 departure points, 37 UK/36 European airports* (all routes on sale Dec ’15 – Sep ‘16); operates more UK domestic flights than any other airline (UK CAA Nov ’14 – Oct ‘15); named top UK airline for punctuality in report issued by UK consumer watchdog Which? (Dec 2014); is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Belfast City, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Exeter, Isle of Man, Jersey, Manchester, Newquay and Southampton airports (UK CAA Oct ’15); operates fleet of 69 aircraft – 49 Bombardier Q400, 9 Embraer 195 & 11 E175; codeshares with BA, Air France, Etihad, KLM, Finnair, Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific and Emirates; has two franchise partners, Loganair and Stobart Air making it only UK airline brand with 72% coverage of reporting airports (UK CAA Oct ’15); has own globally recognised Training Academy in Exeter with flight deck and cabin crew simulator facilities, 26 classrooms and 150-seat conference facility.

* Flown under the Flybe brand (29 routes/11 airports exclusively served by Flybe’s franchise partner, Loganair: and 4 routes and 4 airports exclusively operated by franchise partner, Stobart Air)