Flybe is to upgrade its Edinburgh and Belfast services to London City.
The upgrade comes in the form of jet aircraft which will take over a number of peak hours services from the prop planes currently used.
These 98-seater E190 jets will be deployed from December 1 to London City from Belfast City and Edinburgh.
Flybe has yet to say exactly which of the peak services they will operate.
It also means a capacity boost of around 20 seats for those flights operated by the E190s which are being sourced from Stobart Air, one of the Connect Air partners.
The aircraft might carry a different livery given the upcoming rebrand of Flybe as Virgin Connect.
Users of both routes will surely welcome the jet flights between these cities and London City compared to the existing Dash-8 services (though note that Flybe’s Heathrow services will continue to be operated by the Dash-8s).
In other news, reported by Belfastlive.co.uk, Flybe has lost a court case in Northern Ireland over its £50 fee for cabin baggage which did not meet its size requirements.
Ever since last January Flybe has been mounting a crackdown on cabin baggage which exceeded its requirements.
Judging by the amount of passenger complaints thousands of disgruntled travellers must have been forking out this fee which was later reduced to £35.
One reason for the complaints was that Flybe’s requirements differ from almost all other airlines of its size.
And secondly there have been very many inconsistencies where passengers have been charged at one airport but not in another even though the piece of cabin baggage may have been exactly the same.
In response the airline says: “Flybe works closely with its ground handling team to regularly check that its hand baggage policy is being properly and consistently adhered to and applied.”
Flybe tends to employ third-party ground handlers at most airports rather than its own staff.
To give just four examples – you find Swissport (owned by China’s HNA Group) is used at Belfast City, Birmingham and Edinburgh and others, while Aviapartner is used at Amsterdam.
This creates confusion amongst passengers who believe they are dealing with Flybe staff when in fact they are not.