The UK’s regional carrier Flybe is planning a major return to London market, with plans to offer flights from London City Airport to Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter.
Under a five-year agreement between London City Airport and Flybe, the new routes will start from October 27. The regional airline is targeting business travellers with fares starting from GBP34.99 one-way to the five destinations, and expects to carry an additional 500,000 passengers a year.
The airline will offer four daily flights to and from Edinburgh and Dublin, three to and from Belfast and Exeter and two to and from Inverness. The new routes will improve connectivity between the UK regions and Ireland to and from London’s financial district, the airline said.
It also plans to add off-peak leisure flights to ‘selected ski, regional French and northern Spanish’ destinations.
‘Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe,’ said Saad Hammad, the airline’s chief executive officer. ‘We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport and 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 regional airline,’ he added.
Declan Collier, London City Airport’s chief executive officer, said: ‘London City Airport 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.’
Exeter-based Flybe downsized its operations last year, cutting hundreds of jobs and selling 25 pairs of arrival and departure slots at Gatwick.
The agreement with London City 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.