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Exeter-Norwich link to be restored
Flybe and its franchise partner announced today that a Loganair 31-seat Dornier 328 turbo-prop aircraft will be based at Norwich and will be used on a daily rotation between Norwich and Exeter from 25 March 2012.
The route was last flown by Flybe itself in 2010 but the equipment then used was too large for the route.
The Dornier should be a better fit.
This is welcome news for EXT that has lost 30% of its passenger numbers over the past four years.
CAA stats November 2011
Exeter continues its four years of monthly falling passenger numbers.
38,009 passengers were handled, 9.1% fewer than in November 2010. Atms were up 3.4% which means the falling passenger numbers in November are more worrying.
Rolling 12-month total was 708,895, down 4.4% on a year ago.
The odd things is that, whereas many South Wales residents, politicans, business people etc complain bitterly about the under performance of their airport at Cardiff, the perception in Devon is that Exeter Airport is doing well, yet it has lost almost as many passengers in percentage terms over the past four years as Cardiff.
Another forum is reporting (with a link though not to the airline or tour operator) that the 1 x weekly summer Exeter-Toronto Pearson service via Newcastle outbound for Canadian Affair will not operate in summer 2012.
The equipment was due to be an Air Transat A330 after several years of A310 service by the same airline.
It would be a great pity because EXT has had this route for the best part of 20 years but nearly always, perhaps always, operating via another UK or Irish airport. Surprisingly, given the small size of EXT in terms of operations, it's the only direct route to Canada from the south west of Britain.
A crumb of comfort is the fact that the route was originally going to be axed in summer 2011 but was reprieved. Maybe history will repeat itself. Currently, the route is still bookable on the tour operator's website.
CAA Stats December 2011
39,453 people used the airport in the month, an increase of 4.3% on December 2010. Atms were up 9.5%.
Rolling 12-month total (ie the calendar year) was 709,848, down 3.6% on a year ago.
Even though the increase was mainly due to the snow of December 2010 and additional atms of December 2011 the rise is welcome at the airport after nearly four years of almost continual monthly percentage falls.
It will replace an A 320.
Exeter was never a Thomson base in its own right. It had been a First Choice single aircraft base with a 320 but came into the Thomson fold when TOM subsumed FCA.
This will give each flight a slight increase in the number of passenger seats - 189, up from 180 I think.
January 2012 - CAA stats
CAA stats show that in January 34,442 passengers were handled, up 2.5% on January 2011. Atms were up 6.8%.
Rolling 12-month figure was 710,167, down 3.5% on a year ago.
After four years of falling monthly passenger figures (with one or two very minor exceptions) that have seen annual passenger numbers drop by 30%, it looks as though Exeter might have reached the bottom of the fall.
January's figures alone don't bring this conclusion but the performance in recent months tend towards it.
The only slightly disquiting feature is that although passenger numbers were up 3.5%, atms were up 6.8%. As Exeter is almost entirely Flybe it's safe to say that this indicates a generally lower load factor across the network, though of course some routes would be up and others down.
Is this the case?
Flybe website is showing booking availability for the coming summer on EXT-LBA-EXT, 6 x weekly (no Saturdays). The timings suggest that the aircraft leaves Exeter, has a short turnaround at LBA, the returns to EXT.
I thought it was the onward leg to ABZ that's to be axed with passengers wanting to travel between Exeter and Aberdeen in future having to change aircraft at Manchester.
February 2012 - CAA stats
A bit disappointing February figures after the small improvement in January.
In February 35,958 passengers were handled, down 3.7% on February 2011. Atms were up 4.3%.
Rolling 12-month figure is 708,677, down 3.7% on a year ago.
Given that there was an extra day this February (worth about 3.5% for passenger figures) and atms increased by 4.3% the passenger numbers are a surprise after January.
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