New flight adds to travel options between Denmark and northern England

A new flight route between Humberside in the north of England and Esbjerg in south west Denmark has been introduced by Eastern Airways in a move that is hoped will link renewable industries and make travel between the two regions easier.

New flight adds to travel options between Denmark and northern England
The 29-seat plane at Humberside airport before departure to Esbjerg, December 2022. The new flight from Humberside to Esbjerg started on 14th December 2022. Photo: Emma Firth, The Local

The new flight route opened on December 14th and operates three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The aim is to link the two key offshore wind hubs in the UK and Denmark, making it easier for engineers, technicians and other workers to travel quickly and directly between the Humberside and Esbjerg. The most direct existing route between the two regions up to now has been the Ryanair service between Manchester and Billund airports.

Renewable energy business between the two regions has been growing, with companies such as Ørsted and Siemens Gamesa investing in both. Siemens Gamesa, for example, manufactures blades in Hull and exports them to Denmark. 

“The Humber and Esbjerg have had a close relationship for a long time. The city was founded in 1868 and in 1875 Danish shipping company DFDS opened the first UK shipping route from the port,” Jesper Frost Rasmussen, the Mayor of Esbjerg said in a speech after the inaugural flight in December. 

“It still operates daily for freight services to the Humber region at the Port of Immingham,” he said.

“The North Sea is the lifeline between the two and will continue to be for years to come. Primarily it has been the waves that brought us closer together, now we share the wind,” he added. 

Roger Hage, Eastern Airway’s commercial director, told Business Live: “It is another step in trying to develop connectivity between the Humber and key European regions, we’re trying to aid employment and the commercial prosperity of the estuary as a whole.”

Can tourists use the flight?

The Local reporter Emma Firth used the flight on the 28th December and was one of nine passengers on board. 

“Both airports are so small that it meant check-in and security took less than 30 minutes and we set off ten minutes after boarding the plane,” she said.

“My flight was at 9:45am UK time and I was out of Esbjerg airport by 1230 Danish time.

“Be prepared that it is a small propeller plane so you can feel turbulence more. The flight was extremely quiet so I’m not sure how it would work if I took my three small children with me as you would very much know about it, as a fellow passenger. But in terms of a quick, efficient and friendly service, I would highly recommend. Complimentary hot towels, drinks and snacks are included on the flight, which was a novelty,” she said.

Inside the aeroplane from Humberside to Esbjerg

Inside the BAe J41. The new flight from Humberside to Esbjerg has 29 Seats. Photo: Emma Firth

The plane is a BAe (British Aerospace) Jetstream 41 (J41). It has 29 seats and the flight time is 1 hour 50 minutes. 

As Humberside and Esbjerg are both regional airports, you do not need a lot of time to check in. Humberside Airport told The Local that arriving one hour before your flight time is fine. Check-in opens two hours before departure and closes 30 minutes before departure at both airports.

The route is intended to support tourism as much as business, Humberside Airport said. Esbjerg is Denmark’s fifth largest city, with easy access to Legoland Billund and rail connections to Copenhagen. Humberside airport has links to Yorkshire cities such as Hull, York, Leeds and Sheffield.

Humberside Airport told The Local that more routes to Denmark could be added, or other routes into Esbjerg offered, depending how this service develops. 

Scandinavian Airlines launched a service between Humberside and Copenhagen in late 2013, but it was pulled the following April due to lower than anticipated demand. 

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New rail service planned through Norway, Sweden and Denmark to Hamburg

Plans for a new rail service running from Oslo and stopping in Gothenburg, Malmö and Copenhagen before arriving in Hamburg are in the works, Swedish state-owned rail operator SJ has said.

New rail service planned through Norway, Sweden and Denmark to Hamburg

Sweden’s state-owned SJ, along with Denmark’s DSB and DB of Germany, plans to offer a new international train line which runs between the Norwegian capital Oslo and Hamburg in northern Germany. 

The planned route would run daily, departing from Oslo at 8am before making stops in Gothenburg, Malmö and Copenhagen and arriving in Hamburg at 7pm. A service departing Hamburg and terminating in Gothenburg is also planned.

The 11 hour service would be quicker than the equivalent journey using either a car and ferry connection or existing train services. 

The planned service will enter into operation in 2027. Petter Essén, head of SJ’s vehicle and traffic programme, said the route made sense as it would connect a long stretch which doesn’t have continuous train traffic. 

“Today, there is a great deal of flying between Copenhagen and Oslo and between Oslo and Gothenburg, routes that would be fine by train,” Essén told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter

Currently, the only direct trains from the Norwegian capital to other countries are services to Gothenburg and Stockholm. 

The European Commission has selected the potential line as one of ten pilot projects that will receive support. This does not mean it will receive direct funding from the EU, but it will get backing on regulations and logistics, Essén explained.

“You can get help with various regulations and the process of getting all vehicles approved in all countries,” he said.

Generally, many Swedish and Norwegian trains can only operate within Sweden and Norway, while the majority of Danish and German trains are not cleared to run in Sweden in Norway. 

The Snälltåget line between Stockholm and Berlin has also been selected to receive support from the European Commission. 

SJ also announced plans to increase the number of trains between Gothenburg and Malmö to ten per day and offer the Gothenburg-Copenhagen service all year round. It said that these plans could come to fruition by 2026 or 2027.