New German start-up MeerExpress

New Hünxe-based (North Ruhr Westphalia, Western Germany) start-up MeerExpress began operations on the 26th of March between Hünxe’s Schwarze Heide airfield and Norderney, an East Frisian island, using a Cessna 208 Caravan or 208B Grand Caravan (both turboprops, the 208 can seat up to 9 passengers and the 208B 11 passengers) operated by Hohenlockstedt-based (Schleswig-Holstein, on the Danish border) aircraft charter company Itzehoer Airservice. Itzehoer Airservice owns 2 aircraft, D-FUNC, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and D-FUNK, a Cessna 208 Caravan. On the 27th of March, MeerExpress also operated a flight from Schwarze Heide to Juist, another Frisian island (to the west of Norderney). The airline explains that these flights are practical, as they are both only 55 minutes long, which allows you to spare on average 3 to 4 hours, proving that the flights are faster than by car or by train. This is a unique idea, following the path of small-level domestic flights for a specific customer base during a short time period. The Ruhr area is highly populated and one of the cradles of the industrial revolution, and this idea will allow people working there to go on holiday to a peaceful destination for reasonable costs (€99 for a flight to Juist). The airline has announced, though, that flights are only permitted for people with second homes, daily commuters (who go to work) and commercial travellers (for business), as restrictions (before 23rd of March, at least [I can’t follow the daily updates]) ban internal tourism. MeerExpress also began operating flights to the island of Borkum (to the west of Juist) this April, the westernmost of the East Frisian Islands, which are situated in Germany, whereas the West Frisian Islands are all part of the Netherlands. The airline has worked hard to put together an effective transport service that will also allow you to access the Schwarze Heide airfield with a MeerExpress Ford Transit bus from your door for a tarif ranging from €35 to €135 in 7 different cities, the tariff depending on the proximity of your city with the airport. MeerExpress is now the third airline in Frisia, after FLN (Frisia Luftverkehr Norddeich) and OFD (Ostfriesischer-Flug-Dienst), but is the only one of these to operate flights to the East Frisian Islands from outside of the two states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony (all East Frisian Islands are in Lower Saxony and all North Frisian Islands in Schleswig-Holstein). I believe that this is a great project and wish the airline success! 12th of April 2021.

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