FLYBE ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION WITH FIVE YEAR DEAL AT LONDON CITY AIRPORT

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·           Routes to/from London City to provide UK regions and Ireland with direct access to the Capital
·           New routes from/to Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter to commence 27 October 2014, on sale now

In a major expansion that will see the airline significantly boost connectivity between the UK regions and Ireland to and from London, Flybe is delighted to announce that it has signed a five-year agreement with London City Airport (LCY) to commence domestic and international operations to/from London City with effect from 27 October 2014. Routes are on sale immediately.

Flybe will deploy five growth aircraft for its LCY operation. The aircraft will be based at three of its regional bases, and are expected to fly up to circa 500,000 passengers annually on a schedule that will see four times daily services from/to Edinburgh and Dublin, three times daily services from/to Belfast and Exeter and twice daily from/to Inverness.

These new Flybe routes will boost connectivity from the UK regions to London, providing direct links for customers in the regions to the heart of London’s financial district. Flybe expects the new routes will also appeal to a significant number of City and Canary Wharf-based passengers who need to access the UK regions and neighbouring European destinations quickly and efficiently. For these customers whose travel plans are time-critical, Flybe’s new services from LCY will prove especially convenient, being significantly faster overall than travelling via Heathrow or Gatwick, or travelling by road or rail. Routes to Edinburgh and Dublin are expected to be in particular demand.

Regional core services within the UK and from/to Ireland will be supplemented with off-peak leisure flights to selected Ski, Regional French and Northern Spanish destinations. More information about these routes will be announced in the coming weeks. Flights between LCY and Edinburgh, Belfast City, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter are now on sale at www.flybe.com

The agreement with LCY follows on from Flybe’s successful launch of eight new routes from Birmingham and a further four new routes launched from London Southend with franchise partner, Stobart Air. It is also a major step forward in meeting the Group’s stated strategic objective to expand its branded scheduled commercial operation by developing new routes and bases within the UK following its successful fund raise of £150 million last month.

Saad Hammad, Chief Executive Officer, Flybe, commented:

“Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe.  We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport following a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict route assessment model.

“Dedicating five growth aircraft initially to these new routes is a major statement of intent and we look forward to building a successful and growing presence there over the coming years.

“Flybe is today already connecting over 7 million passengers a year across the UK and Europe.  With a major London connection, we reaffirm our place as the UK’s largest regional airline.”

Declan Collier, Chief Executive Officer, London City Airport, confirmed the importance of the arrival of Flybe at the airport:

“London City Airport (LCY) is poised for significant growth in the next ten years – growth that will see it achieve 120,000 flight movements per annum, with an associated 6 million passengers by 2023.

“Today’s announcement is an extremely important step on that journey – Flybe will bring an immediate uplift of up to half a million new passengers to the airport. In addition, Flybe’s selection of routes serves to cement further LCY’s status as the business traveller’s airport of choice, underpinned by our ‘location, convenience and speed’ customer propositions.

“We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

FLYBE HITS OUT ON NATS DISRUPTION OVER THE WEEKEND OF 7/8 DECEMBER

flybelogoFollowing the major failure of communications systems at NATS headquarters over the weekend that caused misery for hundreds of thousands of airline passengers, Flybe has hit out against the fact that it is the airlines that have to act as ‘the Insurers of last resort’ yet again.

Commenting on the situation, Chief Commercial Officer Paul Simmons comments: “Flybe had 170 flights scheduled for Saturday 7th December. Due to the NATS fiasco just 27% of our services got away within 15 minutes of their scheduled time, something that is totally unacceptable and meant thousands of our passengers had their travel badly disrupted.

“It’s clearly not a fair system when NATS can wash their hands of any financial compensation to the millions of passengers who were let down. But the airlines once again have to act as ‘the Insurers of last resort’ and pick up the tab. That’s really not acceptable.”

In praising the work of Flybe staff who worked tirelessly to keep delays and disruptions to a minimum, he added: “The fact that only four of Flybe’s 170 flights on Saturday were cancelled when compared to other airlines’ performances, is down to the fantastic efforts of our staff on the ground and at our Exeter HQ.I pay tribute to ther outstanding work on behalf of our passengers. The very fact that 96% of our flights departed on time the following day is also testament to their ability.”