Flybe and Skyscanner partner to launch search engine for linked bookings

Flybe, one of the leading UK-based European regional airlines, has announced a partnership with Skyscanner, a global travel search engine, to offer long- haul travellers options for linked bookings such as from Newquay to Dubai, Southampton to Kuala Lumpur, Inverness to Hong Kong and such.

With the partnership, Flybe’s ‘One Stop to the World’ bookings can be instantly made via a direct link from its website powered by Skyscanner. The customised search tool – developed by Skyscanner for Business using its White Label product – calculates all options available for flying to selected long haul destinations from several of the key regional airports served by Flybe. It details all possible itineraries, timings and convenient connections.

Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Simmons, said: ‘Our new partnership with Skyscanner fully leverages a wealth of travel possibilities available by combining Flybe’s own extensive route network with those offered by our increasing number of codeshare partners. Today’s news represents a major strategic step forward for Flybe, as well as a significant milestone in globe-trotting travel options for our customers.’

Skyscanner’s Director of Business Development, Hugh Aitken, added: ‘Flybe has long been offering ‘One Stop to the World’ travel options for our passengers with seamless onward travel. Now that dream destination is even easier to find and plan.

‘This powerful new search tool reinforces our commitment to empowering our customers with as much information about the enormous choice of itineraries they now have – and all on their doorsteps from their own regional airport.’

On deciding a travel plan, customers can immediately click through and complete their flight purchase direct with the relevant codeshare carrier’s website. These currently include Aer Lingus, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Finnair and KLM.

Examples of the choice of long-haul destinations served by Flybe’s codeshare partners include Dubai with Emirates via Birmingham, Manchester and London Gatwick; and to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific via Manchester and Paris CDG, Flybe said.


Travellers Say No to Use of Mobile Phones during Flights

Air travellers have expressed their rejection for use of mobile phones in flights, says a recent survey conducted by a UK-based flight comparison site, Skyscanner.

Around 86 percent of those polled said that it is ‘annoying to have to listen to other people’s conversations’, while only a small minority, of 1 percent of respondents, said that they are willing to pay more for seats in airlines which offer mobile calls.

Virgin Atlantic, an airline subsidiary of UK-based Virgin Group, is the first airline based in the UK to offer mobile phone calls during its flights from London to New York, US. The airline has priced the calls at GBP1.00 per minute, while text messages will be charged at GBP0.20 per message. The airline is yet to launch the service.

The Skyscanner travel editor, Sam Baldwin, said, ‘In a world where we are now almost always ‘on call’, it seems people don’t want to say good-bye to their last sanctuary of non-connectivity. Flying allows us to switch off for a few hours, both from our own calls, and other people’s. However, Virgin’s move into onboard mobile is the beginning of the end of the no-phone zone. I think it’s inevitable that within a few years, making mobile calls at 30,000 feet will be commonplace on all airlines.’

The recent survey also highlighted that if mobile phone use is made available in-flight, around 48 percent will be keen to send texts, 35 percent will use it to surf the Internet, 10 percent will send emails, and only 6 percent will be keen to make or receive calls.

British Fliers Vote for Low Cost Flights for International Travel

Around 74 percent of travellers surveyed by Skyscanner, a UK-based flight search engine, have said that they would welcome low-cost no-frills airlines for travelling on long-haul routes.

British travellers are ready to give up on the amenities offered by regular airlines on long distance routes, in order to save on costs.

The survey has indicated that 48 percent of around 1,800 travellers polled are willing to give up on more personal space and legroom to travel on low-cost airlines for four hours or more. Around 30 percent of those polled are willing to fly low-cost for more than ten hours on a flight, the equivalent of a flight from Singapore to London.

The results also suggested that some travellers, around 22 percent, may opt to fly low-cost for more modest flying times of four to six hours, and go for traditional airlines with improved amenities when flying longer distances.

Travellers have also rated their indispensable long haul amenities, with 35 percent of them voting for an extra two inches of legroom when travelling on long haul flights, in addition to the legroom that is currently offered by low-cost airlines on their traditional routes, while 14 percent favoured in-flight entertainment, and 9 percent voted for the provision of food and refreshments. Around 18 percent of travellers surveyed stated that complimentary hold baggage on a long haul flight with a low-cost airline would be their preferred amenity.

The company travel editor, Sam Baldwin, said, ‘The results of this survey show there is a definite demand for low cost airlines to operate long haul routes – it appears people are more than happy to surrender some level of comfort in order to satisfy their taste for travel, as long as the price is right. In recent years, low cost airlines have started to introduce more mid haul routes, so it is not unfeasible that long haul routes could be next to be added.’