Fears over long-term impact of TUI chaos on the city
- Credit: Mark Overton
The impact of travel chaos at Norwich Airport could have a knock-on impact on trade in the city, bosses have warned.
A number of TUI flights in and out of Norwich have been badly delayed in the past week due to staff shortages and other operational issues.
The latest included a TUI flight from Menorca being delayed by more than three-and-a-half-hours yesterday afternoon while a departure to Rhodes was also affected.
It is just the latest in a long list of disruption which has caused frustration for those hoping to jet off for their holidays stress free. Some people have been delayed for more than 24 hours.
Labour county councillor Steve Morphew, whose Catton Grove division includes the airport, said: "There is no doubt having an airport is a really attractive part of our economic offer.
"It means a lot of people can get here easier. The ramifications of these delays is not helpful and the economy is bound to be adversely affected.
"There is concern for what it means in the long-term."
Norwich Airport has said the disruption seen this summer is an airline issue out of its control.
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Meanwhile, TUI has admitted its operational issues are due to staff shortages and has pledged to improve communication.
Liza Dunnell, general manager at St Giles House Hotel, said she has had a couple of customers reschedule their bookings recently due to flight delays.
And there are fears many will opt for the bigger London airports in the future instead after this summer's travel bedlam.
David Graham, general manager at Dunston Hall Hotel, said: "The travel and tourism industry like many industries are still suffering from Covid and Brexit.
"There are labour shortages in pretty much all industries affecting levels of service and productivity.
"This is what needs to be resolved to alleviate the challenges we are all seeing."
Mr Graham said the hotel sees very few international travellers on leisure visits so he remains confident about his trade.
But he added: "The problem for Norwich Airport is that Stansted Airport and their carriers are outperforming the rest of the country.
"Being less than 90 mins away is a very viable alternative for the Norfolk public."