Flybe

TheLocalYokel

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A need for a new business model therefore exists. BA don't want it, Virgin tried, so who else is there? A British domestic perhaps? Air UK came and went, Brymon Airways got eaten, Duo was a flash of lightning and we have BA Cityflyer. Does a need for a British Domestic airline exist and if so, would it resist international?
Interesting that you mentioned Brymon Airways because in a very roundabout way it finished up as part of Flybe mark 1.

Brymon was formed in 1970 by two New Zealanders, Bill Bryce and Chris Amon (a Formula One racing driver). They set up bases at Plymouth and Newquay. They later became the first British airline to operate the four-engined Dash 7 aircraft.

British Airways later acquired a large minority share in Brymon Airways.

In October 1992, Brymon Airways merged with Birmingham European Airways to form Brymon European Airways (I had to check the date).
Brymon European Airways was bought jointly by British Airways and Maersk Air. In 1993 Brymon European Airways was split up with British Airways buying the Brymon Airways part and Maersk Air buying the Birmingham European Airways part which they called Maersk Air UK.

The by now wholly BA-owned Brymon Airways Ltd fleet was painted in BA colours and operated franchise routes for BA, particularly from Bristol Airport which had become Brymon's main hub.

In 2002 Brymon merged with British Regional Airlines to form BA Citiexpress. In 2006 BA Citiexpress was renamed BAConnect (BACon) and by then was operating a fleet of E145 and E135 aircraft. A year later BAConnect was sold to Flybe and ceased to exist as an airline.
 

Coathanger16

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"May be achievable" , that is my concern. Can business, not least a Capital intensive one, survive on maybe's?

"May be achievable" was only my opinion as a complete outsider. The people behind this will have all the knowledge and clearly feel they can make it work otherwise they wouldn't be doing it!

Their slogan about being faster and cheaper than the train was a good one, but often let down by aircraft going "tech" (usually Dash8) and cost-cutting by combining flights not just at quieter times during day. In fact, some disgruntled passengers renamed it "Flymaybe".

I flew with Flybe on three occasions: Glasgow & Paris on a Dash 8, and Bordeaux on an Embraer. Don't recall any problems on any of the flights, and in fact on the domestic the cabin crew were very helpful in finding somewhere in the cabin for my bag to go when it didn't fit in the overhead locker.
 

JENNYJET

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I also struggle, I understand why BA does not engage beyond the big bases of Manchester and London with a token Scottish presence. However, if not BA to serve Exeter, Norwich, Southend and Birmingham, why be the flag carrier?
 

Poshgirl

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That's a debate that's been "raging" for some time on the Business Traveller forum. As I've mentioned before, most of these guys are frequent flyers with epic status on many airlines' frequent flyer programmes.

Because BA is "London centric" we know they are not interested in regional domestic operations. At the same time, they know that they lose business to the likes of KLM and Lufthansa because their hubs are a short flight away, better connected and it's often cheaper. I have neighbours with a second home in the Far East. Their preferred route is BHX-AMS-Far East; sometimes via FRA, never CDG for a number of reasons. So, it applies to leisure travellers too. Then you get Emirates who are willing to serve larger UK regional airports, so a domestic airline would only be serving the likes of EXT, DSA, EMA, SEN, etc.

There currently isn't a UK airline with the appetite to operate just domestically. I doubt whether Flybe Mk2 will be able to ignore the lure of European destinations, but I could be wrong. After all, airlines are run by the number crunchers these days. A UK domestic airline would be heavily reliant on codeshare and interline arrangements.
 

jfy1999

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Very often the failure is down to poor management as in other business sectors. Perhaps Flybe was guilty of wanting to punch above its weight. They needed staff (office based ones) who knew how to utilise the fleet instead of blaming the Embraer jets for not bringing in enough revenue of the seasonal European routes (Dubrovnik an example). Also the blinkered approach to only using propeller aircraft to try and compete with EasyJet and Ryanair. The other side of that argument is Blue Islands and Aurigny who hopefully have made a success of having a mostly prop fleet.

The writing was on the wall for a while, but not as long as Monarch or Thomas Cook. Virgin's involvement in Flybe Mk2 was, in my opinion, the usual grandstanding. With the failure of Little Red, their sorties into the UK domestic market have not ended well.
Apparently the E-jets were a financial ball and chain from the moment they were obtained, on leases where the prices turned out to be extortionate. The new airline will hopefully have no such issues
 

Kevin Farnell

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Apparently the E-jets were a financial ball and chain from the moment they were obtained, on leases where the prices turned out to be extortionate.
Surely, that was the fault of Flybe management. If the deal is not good, walk away! A good example is that Ryanair have recently ended discussions with Boeing regarding the 737-Max10. Obviously, the proposed deal was unacceptable to Ryanair so they ended negotiations.

Kevin
 

rollo

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Aug 26, 2014
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Undoubtedly the lease for the E-Jets signed was the responsibility of the then management under Jim French in the 2000s.
According to the financial and aviation press over a period of time Flybe tried everything to change or terminate the terms of the deal but what they had contracted to in the agreement was watertight and an eywateringly bad deal. To walk away would have bust the airline anyway and potentially directors could have faced prosecution.

So a rock and a hard place for the following management and the subsequent financial pressures must have contributed to Flybe suffering a loss of reputation in reliability and service as in Flymaybe etc.

Ryanair is a different kettle of fish in that it walked away from discussions of a deal with nothing signed so no problem plus accepting Boeing are a massiive company and in theory would hold the whip hand in any negotiations they have big problems with not just the 737 but also the 777X and 787 and could do with all the good news they can get and also the dosh so surely they will want/need to cut a deal at some point.

Ryanair on the other hand are a key customer with something like 400 737s in operation, 200 Max in the course of delivery and were looking at another 200 of the Max 10. Boeing will not want to loose them to Airbus. If I was a betting man I'd say Boeing and Ryanair will get back round the table at some point it's not as if Ryanair are exactly subtle in their negotiation tactics.

That my take on it anyway.
 
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Kevin Farnell

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To walk away would have bust the airline anyway and potentially directors could have faced prosecution.
What I was referring to, was that Flybe should have walked away prior to signing the deal. It is up to management, to carry out 'due diligence' and make sure that they have a 'get out clause'. If the lessor refuses that, simple, don't sign!

Kevin
 

rollo

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Aug 26, 2014
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What I was referring to, was that Flybe should have walked away prior to signing the deal. It is up to management, to carry out 'due diligence' and make sure that they have a 'get out clause'. If the lessor refuses that, simple, don't sign!

Kevin

Yes I'm agreeing with you what I was trying to say but maybe didn't explain properly is the management who signed the deal realised afterwards how bad it was and later tried to get out of it as did subsequent management's but apparently the leasing company had better lawyers.

Anyway I think we're on the same page

rollo
 
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