Loganair – Scotland’s Airline

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December, 2017

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Seventeen years ago our youngest son Richard left the comfort and support of his Mum and Dad, and moved 200 miles south to Norfolk, to be with Caroline, the love of his life.

Since that day, we have traveled to Norfolk on a regular basis, two or three times a year, in different seasons, just to be with them for their engagement, their wedding, their birthdays, their anniversaries and of course, Christmas.

In the early years we always traveled by car, through the counties of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and rural Lincolnshire, but more recently we have chosen to let the train take the strain.

The journey by car can take anything between 4 to 5 hours depending on the conditions and volume of traffic.

If you choose the train from Durham or Darlington, it requires a change at Peterborough, and another change at Ely, if like us, you want to end your journey at Wymondham. This is another journey of about 4 hours which includes waiting for connections on drafty platforms.

Train fares are notoriously difficult to predict, depending on when you want to travel or even when you purchase your ticket, so we invariably chose to go by road over the years despite the discomfort.

Last month we discovered that there was another way to travel from Durham to Norfolk courtesy of Loganair, which markets itself as Scotland’s Airline.

Since last September they have provided a flight from the little known and under used Durham/Tees Valley Airport, previously called Teesside Airport, six days a week, with a return flight the other way.

I was surprised to find that the difference between the full train fare and the air fare was minimal, so we decided to give it a try.

The SAAB 340B Turbo Prop Aircraft has a capacity of 33/34 passengers. I found it a bit noisy compared to the bigger jets, but there were just 10 passengers on our outward journey, and following a free hot drink and a delicious chocolate Caramel Biscuit and 55 minutes later, we touched down at Norwich Airport.

On our return journey there were just 5 passengers, so I guess it was as close as I will ever get to having my own private aircraft.

How they can make a profit by operating this route is beyond me, even though it is a stop off point between Norwich and Aberdeen.

I hope and pray that it survives, because it really is the best option for us.

Colin Wills

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