Flybe Grows Birmingham Network with Twilight Flights

The new links to Ibiza, Palma and Reykjavik will depart Birmingham late at night and return in the early hours of the morning, supporting the carrier’s plans to enhance fleet utilisation.

UK low-fare carrier has revealed it will add an additional three routes to its already expanded network at Birmingham Airport this summer as it reinforces the Midlands’ gateway as its largest base and home to 12 aircraft. The new links to Ibiza, Palma and Reykjavik will depart Birmingham late at night and return in the early hours of the morning, supporting the carrier’s plans to enhance fleet utilisation.

The new links will operate on a three times weekly schedule from June 29, 2014 until September 7, 2014 and will be flown by an 88-seat Embraer E-Jet. Flybe is marketing the three new routes as ‘Twilight’ flights. “Europe’s largest regional airline offers hot new routes to Ibiza, Palma and Reykjavik for those who love to be cool,” it said. The Ibiza and Palma routes will bring competition to these markets but Flybe will be the first to provide a scheduled link to Keflavik Airport, the international gateway to Reykjavik.

“We’ve started summer with a real bang at Birmingham, our largest base, with eleven new Flybe routes to choose from this summer alone. The latest three are exciting twilight destinations for people looking to have fun. The routes reflect our invigorated product and purple spirit. The schedule should appeal especially to anyone looking for affordable travel to three of the world’s hottest party destinations – and who wouldn’t want to party all night long in the land of the midnight sun?!” said Paul Simmons, chief commercial officer, Flybe.

The new routes were announced as the carrier inaugurated the first phase of its expanded summer schedule from the Midlands’ airport and the introduction of flights to Alicante, Cologne/Bonn, Porto and Birmingham’s first non-stop link to Florence. The next stage of the growth will see the introduction of connections to Bordeaux, Palma and Toulouse from May 13, 2014 and a domestic link to Newquay from May 16, 2014.

With 12 aircraft based at the airport, Birmingham has become Flybe’s largest base. This summer, it will be operating 32 routes to and from the city with a total choice of up to 381 return flights a week. “The start of our new routes mark the tangible reality of our major expansion at Birmingham. Flybe is committed to helping develop and expand the regional economies within which it operates,” explained Simmons.

Although Flybe has made notable cuts to its network through its restructuring and cut a number of loss-making routes, it is also expanding in new markets. Earlier this month it revealed its planned network from a new base at London Southend which will be flown under a franchise partnership with Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann), although the local Essex press has reported that the proposed Cologne/Bonn link has already been dropped after Ryanair revealed plans to offer a regular flight to the German airport from London Stansted.

Flybe is also understood to be in the advanced stages off talks over the introduction of services from London City. The HUB reported earlier this month that a report from Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) had revealed the carrier had secured slot allocations to operate on five domestic air routes from London City from September this year. Although executives of both Flybe and London City were tight-lipped on the plans during the recent Routes Europe forum in Marseille, it is our understanding that an announcement could be made in the coming weeks.