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RCA partnership boosts Exeter and Norwich

RCA’s Chief Executive Andrew Bell.

Most of the growth is being attributed to an innovative partnership between RCA and Exeter-based Flybe to introduce one of Flybe’s E-195 118-seater aircraft on routes from both airports last year.

Regional & City Airports (RCA), the leading UK regional airport operator, is seeing the benefits of its strategic partnership with Flybe after posting increased passenger numbers in 2016 at its wholly owned airports in Norwich and Exeter. Norwich Airport saw numbers increase by 10% and break the half million mark (506,007) for the first time since 2008, while Exeter saw a fourth successive year of growth with numbers up 3% to 847,372.

Most of the growth is being attributed to an innovative partnership between RCA and Exeter-based Flybe to introduce one of Flybe’s E-195 118-seater aircraft on routes from both airports last year.

This saw the start of year-round flights to Alicante and Malaga from Exeter last October and the safeguarding of existing summer services, and the resumption of sunshine routes year-round from Norwich for the first time in almost 10 years last Easter. A winter ski service to Chambery also launched from both airports. RCA said the impact of the new services was immediate, with double-digit growth at Norwich in March, April and May, and a 19% increase in July and November. Exeter meanwhile saw its winter numbers up 11% and 13% respectively in November and December.

Both airports have also benefitted from Flybe’s year-round service connecting the two. This was launched last March, and was the first UK route to start under the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

RCA’s Chief Executive Andrew Bell said: “Our innovative partnership with Flybe has made a huge contribution to the growth of both airports and shows what can be achieved when regional airports and operators work closely together for mutual benefit.

“Regional airports are vital to UK productivity and keeping the regions moving, and can play a crucial role in delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy ambitions of an economy that works for everyone.

“Our ask in return is that we be given the tools to make it easier to make a positive contribution, including Enterprise Zone status for regional airports that can fast-track investment, job creation and economic growth.”

RCA acquired Exeter Airport in 2013 and Norwich Airport in 2014, and has owned Coventry Airport since 2010. The group is actively seeking further growth opportunities.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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