UK regional airline, Eastern Airways will increase services between Yorkshire-based airport, Leeds Bradford and Southampton with an additional mid-afternoon departure.
From September 14, 2015, Eastern Airways will increase services from three to four flights each weekday in each direction, with an additional 14:50pm departure from Leeds Bradford, arriving into Southampton at 16:00pm.
A new 12:15pm departure from Southampton arriving into Leeds Bradford at 13:25pm will also be available.
Kay Ryan, Eastern Airways’ commercial director, said: “We are providing greater flexibility for business travellers with the increase in services to four flights each weekday between these two important business centres. The introduction of the afternoon service allows us to offer more choice and is a quicker, more convenient alternative to road or rail.”
The new flights will complement the existing 06:40am, 10:35am and 17:05pm services from Leeds Bradford, and the 08:20am, 16:30pm and 18:35pm flights from Southampton.
The increased frequency will give Yorkshire business travellers flying to Southampton a greater choice of service. Yorkshire has strong business links with Hampshire and the south coast of England, particularly in terms of finance, insurance, IT, construction and manufacturing.
Eastern Airways has been operating scheduled services from Leeds Bradford since 2003, and also provides a regular service to Aberdeen in Scotland.
Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s aviation development director, said: “The additional mid-afternoon frequency added by Eastern Airways will provide increased travel options for business travellers who are increasingly choosing to fly from Leeds Bradford to Southampton saving valuable travel time.’’
Both Leeds Bradford and Southampton offer fast track security channels for all Eastern Airways passengers to avoid any security queues, enabling the airline to close check-in 30 minutes before departure. Complimentary drinks and snacks are offered onboard the aircraft and passengers are not charged for check-in, baggage or choice of seat.
Jan Halliday, Southampton airport’s director of marketing and communications, said: “This additional daily service will make life easier for business people travelling between the two regions.
“It is also likely to be popular with cruise passengers from the north of England who join their ships in the port of Southampton.”
Our analysis of Sabre Airport Data Intelligence demand statistics shows that an estimated 35,000 bi-directional passengers flew between Leeds Bradford and Southampton in 2014, a city pair also served by Flybe using larger Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 turboprops. This is a significant decline from the 60,000 -100,000 passengers being reported in previous years, albeit when Flybe offered significantly more seats in the market.
The increased schedules from Eastern Airways since it resumed non-stop flights on the route in January 2014 (it had previously served the market up until September 2011) has helped the carrier boost its own passenger numbers to above 20,000 last year, the first time it had exceeded that milestone since 2009.