Many readers will doubtless have seen the news that regional airline Flybe has cancelled a number of its flights this week.
Officially Flybe has said that these flights have been cancelled for “operational reasons”. CEO of Flybe, Christine Ourmières-Widener, has tweeted a video to say that 95 per cent of services are operating today.
Ms Ourmières-Widener has also said that Flybe is working on a restructuring programme and that the airline is suffering from a pilot shortage. More information is to be made available later today.
However, what we do know is that Flybe intends to cease all jet flight operations at Exeter later this year (turbo-prop operations are to continue at Exeter). More importantly is the belief that Flybe could be slimming its bases at Cardiff and Doncaster at the end of the summer season. By “slimming” it means that jet operations may cease in favour of turbo-prop operations.
Once again, there has been no official confirmation from Flybe but Cardiff airport’s CEO, Deb Barber, said:
“We understand Flybe is in the process of consulting with a number of its employees, including its crew at multiple bases across its network, which includes Cardiff. Flybe’s plan to restructure and reduce its jet operations across many bases is part of the company’s long-standing objective to stabilise the business.”
“We are working closely with Flybe to ascertain its plans moving forward and the role it will continue to have in connecting Cardiff with key routes in the UK and Europe. Flybe will continue to offer flights to and from both Cardiff on Q400 with aircraft and crew flying from other bases. The winter programme will be launched shortly, but in the meantime, we would reassure passengers that the summer schedule is underway and operating as normal.”
A Doncaster Sheffield airport spokesperson has also commented:
“Flybe have operated services at various levels from Doncaster Sheffield Airport since 2006. Flybe have recently changed ownership with future plans to restructure including a move away from jet flying to stabilise the business across their network. We are working closely with Flybe and expect them to continue operating at DSA beyond the current summer and winter 19/20 schedule which will be on sale shortly.”
There could well be further developments, with Flybe’s new owners expected to make further changes later this year. We reported on Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group’s takeover of Flybe in January.