Flybe adds cheap flights from Birmingham
Feb 3rd, 2014 by elisa

Flybe is adding seven new routes from Birmingham from April and May 2014.

Flybe will offer flights from Birmingham to:

Florence six times a week

– daily flights to Cologne

Toulouse six times a week

Alicante five times a week

– Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto four times a week

Birmingham will become the airline’s biggest regional base when it adds three of its 2×2 seat Embraer 175 jets to the airport.

Seats are on sale now, with one-way fares from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Flights start on 10th April to Alicante, Cologne, Florence and Porto, and from 13th May for the rest.

Flybe scales back operations
Dec 9th, 2013 by elisa

Flybe picture by Flickr user khrawlings

Flybe picture by Flickr user khrawlings

Flybe is scaling back its operations by cutting another 24 routes across its network.

Starting from January 2014, the airline will withdraw 10 year-round, and 14 summer-only routes from the UK.

Already confirmed cancellations are Gatwick flights to Belfast City, Guernsey, Jersey, Inverness, Isle of Man, and Newcastle from 30th March 2014. Affected passengers are being contact to be offered an alternative Flybe flight were possible, or a full refund.

Cardiff and Glasgow to Paris services will stop in January, but will be temporarily reinstated from 20th to 24th February for the Six Nations Rugby tournament.

Chief commercial officer Paul Simmons said: “We recently announced that we would be reconfiguring our route network as part of a carefully planned strategy to optimise our operations.

“We have since taken a long hard look at all the routes we fly to make sure that our new schedule is what our customers really want and that they operate at the best possible times for everyone.”

Most of the latest closures will happen on 19th January but some are stopping on 5th January.

Year-round route withdrawals

Belfast City – Paris CDG 19.01.14

Bristol – Jersey 07.01.14

East Midlands – Paris CDG 13.01.14

Exeter – Newcastle 28.03.14

Glasgow – Shannon 05.01.14

Hannover – Southampton 19.01.14

Leeds Bradford – Southampton 19.01.14

Cardiff – Glasgow 19.01.14

Cardiff – Paris CDG 19.01.14

Glasgow – Paris CDG 19.01.14


Summer seasonal routes

Exeter – Barcelona

Southampton – Barcelona

Belfast City – Jersey

Bristol – Isle of Man

Edinburgh – Knock

Exeter – Nice

Isle of Man – Jersey

Isle of Man – Luton

Isle of Man – Southampton

Jersey – Luton

Jersey – Newcastle

Limoges – Newcastle


Southampton – Beziers

Flybe offer online check-in at point of purchase
Dec 7th, 2012 by elisa

No more forgetting to check-in online as Flybe claims to be the first UK airline to offer passengers the chance to check-in at the point of booking online.

The initiative will launch next week (11th December) and will initially be introduced at nine of the airline’s airports – Birmingham, Belfast City, Exeter, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, Manchester, London Gatwick and Southampton.

This development means that an electronic boarding pass will automatically be sent to a passenger’s smartphone or e-mail 15 or 36 hours prior to departure.

Passengers at the other 17 airports will continue to use automated e-mail check-in only.

These developments are fast becoming the norm as only recently Virgin Atlantic announced that it would be using electronic boarding passes on the iPhone and iPod Touch.


Bmibaby grows
Jun 23rd, 2011 by jason

Ryanair and easyJet, the big two no-frills airlines, have become increasingly dominant in the UK low-cost flights market, with many smaller players either cutting back or squeezed out entirely. That has led to fears that reduced competition could eventually lead to much higher fares.

So it’s good to hear that Bmibaby, now owned by Lufthansa, has announced seven new holiday destinations as part of its summer 2012 schedule. The additional routes are from Birmingham to Barcelona, Lisbon and Rome (Fiumicino), and from East Midlands to Corfu, Gibraltar, Murcia and Naples.

Bmibaby is increasingly focusing on the Midlands, with the new routes bringing the airline’s tally of destinations served to 31 from East Midlands and 14 from Birmingham. The new flights will start in April 2012.

A similar strategy of regional specialisation has seen healthy growth from Jet2, which concentraties on the North of England. Exeter-based Flybe, on the other hand, has carved out a different niche by using its fleet of smaller planes to serve routes between regional airports with insufficient traffic to fill the larger jets used by the big two.

Tough times for no-frills tiddlers
Nov 10th, 2009 by john

BMI Baby flight from Manchester to Malaga. Photo by Terry Wha

BMI Baby flight from Manchester to Malaga. Photo by Terry Wha

The drastic downsizing of low cost airline bmibaby shows the fierce competition smaller operators are facing from the big two of the no-frills airline world, Ryanair and Easyjet.

The bmibaby fleet will be cut from 17 to 12 planes, leading to the likely loss of around 160 pilots and cabin crew based at Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester. Management and support staff jobs are also at risk.

Bmibaby has blamed the recession for its problems, but it looks as if new owner Lufthansa has decided bmibaby cannot compete head on with the big two, who have been muscling in on previously profitable holiday routes like Alicante and Málaga. Instead, it will focus on less competitive routes with growth potential.

The move is the latest step in a long process of consolidation amongst budget airlines. Players that have fallen by the wayside include early front runners Go (set up by BA and later sold to Easyjet) and KLM subsidiary Buzz (sold to Ryanair). MyTravelLite stopped independent operations in 2005 and Thomsonfly has effectively given up scheduled flights. The two remaining significant UK-based operators are Flybe and Jet2. Both have tried to develop as regional airlines avoiding direct competition, but that strategy is likely to come under increasing pressure as the big two add ever more routes. Monarch also offers scheduled services on some holiday routes.

Charter airlines are also suffering, as flight-only passengers increasingly prefer the lower costs and greater flexibility of budget airlines. In October, the number of charter airline passengers passing through BAA’s seven UK airports fell by 12.4 per cent compared with a year earlier (scheduled traffic rose by 1.1 per cent), while Manchester airport saw a 12.7 per cent fall in charter passengers.

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