Flybe aims to boost Stansted’s long-haul ambitions

Flybe regional general manager UK (south) Paul Willoughby and Stansted Airport managing director An

Flybe regional general manager UK (south) Paul Willoughby and Stansted Airport managing director Andrew Harrison cut a cake to mark the new Isle of Man service. - Credit: Archant

Regional airline Flybe said yesterday that the addition of Stansted to its route network could help the airport in its ambitions to attract long-haul operators.

Flybe-liveried planes have been flying from Stansted since March last year when services to and from Dundee were launched by franchise partner Lognair.

Over the next two months, however, Flybe is to introduce three more routes from Stansted which it will operate directly, to the Isle of Man, Newcastle and Newquay.

The first flight from the Isle of Man touched down yesterday, with Newcastle services due to commence from March 29 and the Newquay route to follow from May 16.

Paul Simmons, chief commercial office at Flybe, said: “There are good traffic flows both ways between the London area and the Isle of Man, for both business and leisure.”

Flybe had previously operated routes including the Isle of Man out of Gatwick but had quit the airport as a result of its fee structure which favoured the operators of larger aircraft, he said.

The airline already had a good relationship with Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group, with Flybe being the largest operator at Manchester in terms of the number take-offs and landings, and was pleased to have made Stansted its new London entry point for the Isle of Man.

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Flybe was also confident that the Stansted-Newcastle route (the start of which will coincide with end of easyJet’s Gatwick-Newcastle service) and the summer-only flights to Newquay would prove successful, said Mr Simmons.

He added that Flybe was also pleased to be operating out of Stansted as the airport complemented the airline’s own role as a “regional connecting airline”.

MAG had ambitions to increase the appeal of Stansted to long haul operators and, while this was essentially a matter for the airport, Flybe hoped that the connectivity it could offer would assist in the process.