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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 21:19 GMT
Flybe to cut flights over 3 tax
Flybe plane: Picture Flybe
Flybe has cut routes from Norwich to Spain and Exeter
Airline Flybe has cut passenger flights at Norwich International Airport after a 3 fee was introduced for passengers.

The Airport Development Fee (ADF) was introduced by the airport for all passengers in April to raise 5m to invest in facilities.

Flybe said it was cutting four routes to Spain and Exeter from Norwich after the fee hit passenger numbers.

An airport spokesman said Flybe had earlier said it had problems competing with budget airlines at Stansted.

On Monday, Exeter-based Flybe announced a 20m increase in full-year profits which it said was a "significant turnaround" in its operational business.

However, since the ADF was introduced at Norwich International Airport, the airline said demand had fallen by up to 15%.

Cheaper seats

Mike Rutter, of Flybe, told BBC News: "What it did overnight, at a stroke, was reduce demand by 10-15% which made our leisure only routes, of which there were four from Norwich, totally unviable.

"As a result we've had to withdraw those routes - that basically has brought to an end the development of the leisure only routes from Norwich airports."

The airport has said passengers support paying a little extra to improve facilities.

Richard Jenner, of Norwich International Airport, said: "When we met with them [Flybe] in June, they said their principal reason for pulling the leisure flights to Spain was more to do with the fact that they're having problems competing with Ryanair at Stansted and, because they use much smaller aircraft than Ryanair do, they can't get down to the same seat rates."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Flybe said the 3 development fee has put passengers off flying



SEE ALSO
Flybe announces rise in profits
12 Nov 07 |  England
New subsidies may help airports
07 Sep 05 |  England

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