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Flybe

hay677

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May 21, 2016
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It's all beginning to sound horribly to me like not only the Flybe name but also its aircraft will disappear from BHX, leaving only Stobart, with maybe an increased variety of their flights :(
 

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Jerry

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It's all beginning to sound horribly to me like not only the Flybe name but also its aircraft will disappear from BHX, leaving only Stobart, with maybe an increased variety of their flights :(
With aircraft type it'll be a case of wait and see. If they do shift to the ATR they might have to get more jets to operate some routes as it's a lot slower and i don't see ATRs at Heathrow for one but any sort of fleet replacement would take time so would be a while yet.
 

Coathanger16

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Sep 29, 2016
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It's all beginning to sound horribly to me like not only the Flybe name but also its aircraft will disappear from BHX, leaving only Stobart, with maybe an increased variety of their flights :(
Besides the Aer Lingus Regional flights and a Flybe flight (Isle of Man), does Stobart Air operate any other flights from BHX?

Maybe its just wishful thinking on my part, but I can't see Flybe management negotiating a deal with Virgin, or Flybe shareholders accepting a deal that leaves VirginFlybe as just a feeder airline to Virgin's long haul network at MAN and LHR, with their presence at other airports solely feeding into those hubs. The network at MAN isn't large enough to warrant a large feeder network (certainly smaller than Flybe's current operations at MAN), and Flybe currently only operates 3 domestic routes into LHR which currently lacks any capacity to offer more.

Assuming that the Virgin 'group' wants to grow in Europe:

- LHR: doesn't offer much until a third runway opens (at least 10 years away)

- MAN: Virgin expanding their long haul ops at MAN beyond Orlando a number of years ago, yet it is still relatively small (just 7 routes, 2 of which they took over from Delta).

- Unless in the coming months Virgin announces a large expansion of their long haul flights from MAN, their only other route of growth is to use Flybe's existing network and expand upon that. Although it'll be said to see Flybe go, I for one am excited to see multiple Virgin branded aircraft at BHX (even if it is small aircraft and not widebody).
 

andrew.clarkson

Active Member
Apr 18, 2013
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Hi there coathanger16, I totally agree with you regarding any amounts of aircraft with the virgin name on it using birmingham airport, positioned on the apron at a gate or gates is good news, because as virgin Atlantic is a large brand to be seen in the current modern world that we live in, where social media can play a very large part in our lives, been seen and mentioned on social media is a huge media pa push in free advertising which will then get tongues waggling as they say.. AndyC
 

andrew.clarkson

Active Member
Apr 18, 2013
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Hi there all again, as per my previous post, as well as the Virgin brand name, let's not forget British Airways, if they can be pursuaded at all by the new boss to return, Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines, even trying to persuade Emirates to expand further from Birmingham to say Sydney, adelaide, brisbane, or even to the United States. Just to see any of these massive branded airlines on the apron and using it is a massive plus for the airport, but also a big pr stunt, which is what the airport needs to move forward.. AndyC
 

Ianbutty

Platinum Member
Feb 29, 2016
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It will be sad to lose FlyBe, but that decision has been made. What is vital is route retention. No doubt Mr Barton is out at Necker Island right now negotiating with the bearded one.

It was reported into today's I newspaper that the the planes will be rebranded as Virgin Atlantic. We will see.
 

IanFarquharson

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Jul 23, 2015
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Hi there all again, as per my previous post, as well as the Virgin brand name, let's not forget British Airways, if they can be pursuaded at all by the new boss to return, Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines, even trying to persuade Emirates to expand further from Birmingham to say Sydney, adelaide, brisbane, or even to the United States. Just to see any of these massive branded airlines on the apron and using it is a massive plus for the airport, but also a big pr stunt, which is what the airport needs to move forward.. AndyC
Emirates already fly to Australia from BHX !
Via DXB and one of their biggest markets.

British Airways, United etc !!!
 

Aviador

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In case it was missed here Flybe told the London Stock Exchange on Friday it had sold it's London Gatwick slots to Vueling.
 

richard winterbourn

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Aug 19, 2015
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With regards to the Virgin-Flybe takeover i, personally, don't go with this idea that Virgin will concentrate on using Flybe as a feeder into LHR and MAN. Possibly into LHR but i don't see how it would work as regards Man.

Which routes would be of advantage to Virgin going into MAN? Southampton?, why would passengers fly up to Man to go transtlantic when LHR and Gatwick are just up the road; Glasgow and Edinburgh? why again when there are transtlantic routes already from those two cities; Belfast?, again i cannot see the logic when it would be quicker to take advantage of pre-clearance to fly via Dublin; CWL?, again doubtful when there is a fast and frequent rail service to LHR; Newcastle and Doncaster/Sheffield? doubtful in both cases. I would discount any existing continental services into Man as there are already sufficient hubs in France, Holland and Germany. I just don't get the idea that MAN would be a good transatlanttic feeder for Virgin.

On the other hand, it may well be Virgin's modus operandi is to use this acquisition as a means of establishing an airline with strong european services. And if that is the case then i would like to think that BHX could well be an important base for them. While Flybe already fly to several important business centre in Europe, there are glaring ommissions to the portfolio, such as Lisbon, which i am sure would be welcomed if Virgin were to be bold enough to test the market.
 

CL44

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Jan 20, 2009
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Really doubt that we will see British Airways back at BHX. Their business plan is LHR / LGW with shuttle services to certain regional destinations. From their original network from BHX to the paltry offering they have now (not mainline at that) shows how much care they have for here. Personally I'm not bothered if they come back or not. Same goes for United and American if I'm honest. All three have bailed on BHX and when they were here they showed no interest in expanding their services. We need to concentrate more on new carriers to the Airport with different services than tired old 757's to the East coast of the USA.

There are markets out there that are totally fresh to BHX which do not have any sign of connections without a transit point. EK is fantastic as an Airline but we cannot live off 1 carrier alone. We cannot expect new services to fall in our lap. The Airport needs to go out and attract them. Yes we are between both MAN & LHR which does not help our case with catchment areas but we are not slot controlled (at least as much as LHR) nor do we have 2 runways for capacity and to be fair our terminal (s) and facilities are desperately needing updating.

Let's give the new boss a chance to get his plans in order and see where we go from there.
 

Matt995

Platinum Member
Dec 11, 2015
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Royal Leamington Spa
Personnally I think the news of Virgin taking over Flybe is a sad day for Birmingham airport. I can't see Virgin flying Birmingham to Stuttgart, Lyon, Hamburg, Hanover, Milan, let alone Knock, Inverness etc...

The routes to Paris CDG and Amsterdam will almost certainly be dropped, so the slots can by used by Air France and KLM (Virgin/Delta partners) for more profitable/transatlantic routes.

Is this sale to Virgin just a way for them to get more slots at Heathrow when the 3rd runways opens? Will we really see Virgin flying loss making domestic UK services in years to come?

Virgin is a well known name in the UK, but does Germany, France, Italy, and the rest of Europe etc. really know the brand, they don't fly to these countries, maybe the brand Flybe is actually better known in Europe, and the rebrand to Virgin maybe a huge gamble?

The new CEO will really have his work cut out to find replacements, he will first need to convince Virgin that the current Flybe routes will be successful, forget British Airways, our only hope is Ryanair, Wizz or Easyjet if Virgin do prune the Flybe routes out of Brum.

But do Easyjet have spare aircraft sitting around ready to be deployed to BHX if we make a deal with them? And what current Flybe routes would they be interested in? Maybe just Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin? Won't Easyjet want to compete on the 'bucket and spade" routes instead, and compete with Jet2 and Ryanair?

Flybe currently accounts for 1/3 of all Birmingham movements, as an airport we cant afford to lose these movements/routes, it would be a disaster.

I hope i'm wrong, and Virgin do commit to BHX, but I just can't see it, the fear is we could lose up to 24 routes just like that, and no obvious airline waiting in the 'wings' to take over these routes.

2019 is going to be a real tough year for the airport..... we all need to keep out fingers crossed for a successful outcome.
 

Jerry

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The routes to Paris CDG and Amsterdam will almost certainly be dropped, so the slots can by used by Air France and KLM (Virgin/Delta partners) for more profitable/transatlantic routes.
Though i see some consolidation i would be surprised if they were dropped as i'd imagine those routes are some of Flybe's more profitable ones plus at the moment it operates CDG in concert with Air France and there may well be union resistance at KLM for the same thing to happen with them as i believe they are limited who they can codeshare with.
Is this sale to Virgin just a way for them to get more slots at Heathrow when the 3rd runways opens? Will we really see Virgin flying loss making domestic UK services in years to come?
The 3rd runway is a while away and with Heathrow they will be limited in what they can do by Delta as i'd imagine they would be wary of diverting traffic away from AMS and CDG and may wish to concentrate on more point 2 point premium traffic out of Heathrow.
Virgin is a well known name in the UK, but does Germany, France, Italy, and the rest of Europe etc. really know the brand, they don't fly to these countries, maybe the brand Flybe is actually better known in Europe, and the rebrand to Virgin maybe a huge gamble?
That may well be the reason for them putting there name to Flybe to increase their brand awareness across Europe.
The new CEO will really have his work cut out to find replacements, he will first need to convince Virgin that the current Flybe routes will be successful, forget British Airways, our only hope is Ryanair, Wizz or Easyjet if Virgin do prune the Flybe routes out of Brum.
I guess he'll earn his pay then! As for Virgin they may well look at BHX and operate it as a point to point focus city though they won't be the only ones invloved in the decision making.
 

Coathanger16

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Sep 29, 2016
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Glasgow and Edinburgh? why again when there are transtlantic routes already from those two cities
The busiest routes out of both Glasgow and Edinburgh is Heathrow, so whilst there are direct TATL routes from those airports, in 2017 just over 2 millions passengers flew from GLA/EDI to LHR the majority of which were probably connecting onto other flights.

Belfast?, again i cannot see the logic when it would be quicker to take advantage of pre-clearance to fly via Dublin
Similar to the above, the busiest routes from Belfast City and Belfast International were Heathrow and Gatwick respectively. Whilst some of these were likely people visiting London (unlike Glasgow/Edinburgh there's no rail link), a large amount were still probably on connecting flights.

CWL?, again doubtful when there is a fast and frequent rail service to LHR
If that's the case, why do airlines such as KLM and Qatar fly there?

A large part of the aviation industry is competition, and various airlines trying to attract passengers to use their services over other airlines. Delta/Virgin will be looking to expand their TATL offering to try and lure passengers away from, in the main BA/AA, but also United, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, etc. Due to LHR being at full capacity meaning Delta/Virgin can't grow much there, turning MAN into a 'focus' city for TATL operations doesn't seem so far fetched.

I think when trying to guess the future of Flybe, we need to bare in mind who owns what:

Flybe/Connect Airways (assuming shareholder approval):
Cyrus Capital Partners 40%
Stobart Aviation 30%
Virgin Atlantic 30%

Virgin Atlantic:
Delta 49%
Air France/KLM 31%
Virgin Group 20%

In essence there are 5 different groups that have an interest in which direction Flybe goes now.

Cyrus will likely just be wanting the airline to become profitable again and once the airline has increased its value they will likely sell their share.

Stobart seem to be keen on expanding their operations at Southend and Carlisle airport, though the articles I've seen seem to suggest that Stobart Air will continue to operate under their own brand.

Delta/Air France/KLM/Virgin Atlantic are attempting to create a new TATL "joint venture" to compete mostly with the BA, AA, Iberia, Finnair JV. They will likely be wanting Flybe to help them compete in that joint venture, likely through feeding flights into each of their respective TATL networks.

As others have said though, we shall just have to wait and see what happens. One article I read made a good point that the summer schedule begins in March and that may be the earliest we see any changes.
 

Jerry

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A large part of the aviation industry is competition, and various airlines trying to attract passengers to use their services over other airlines. Delta/Virgin will be looking to expand their TATL offering to try and lure passengers away from, in the main BA/AA, but also United, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, etc. Due to LHR being at full capacity meaning Delta/Virgin can't grow much there, turning MAN into a 'focus' city for TATL operations doesn't seem so far fetched.
I think if you look at Delta's opposition on trans atlantic routes IAG has not only Heathrow and Madrid but also Dublin so they may well feel in the long term building MAN up as a hub to counter Dublin is a viable strategy but that doesn't neccesarily mean they dump all the other routes that Flybe operate and BHX could easily be a short haul focus city on point 2 point and the same with SOU, EXT, CWL, EDI and BHD and a lot of that will be either north to south and to the near continent and Ireland.
 

rollo

Platinum Member
Aug 26, 2014
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Eveyone is talking as if its a takeover by Virgin -Its not.

Virgin as in Richard Branson do not own Virgin Atlantic as pointed out by N Woody its owned 49% Delta, 31% AF/KLM and 20% Virgin.
Likewise the proposed purchase of Flybe is by 40%Cyrus Investments who are American venture capitalists (remember Greybull anyone ) 30% Stobart and 30%Virgin. So in effect Bransons stake in Flybe and presumably influence is small at 6% but what seems to be happening is the Virgin brand is being used as front of house so to speak because of its public regonition but the real direction of Flybe's future will be decided by others.

I can see some advantage in feed to MAN in particular but as pointed out by mullion that mostly already exists and I'm coming to the conclusion that Stobart will come to be the main player in a restructured business under a Virgin branded name to run a slimmed down UK/European short haul operation.

Unfortunately if this deal goes through the people with the biggest shout are Cyrus which doesn't bode well given what investment companies mode of operation are in business in general and not just in aviation.
 

mullion

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2014
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It is already known that the plans for Virgin at Manchester are to expand and I am sure that the code share with Flybe
will be expanded on more routes that are not domestic, but as people say what is in it for BHX, I for one have no idea
 

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