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Flybe

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UK airline happy to carry on with Q400 fleet
Flybe Embraer E175 G-FBJC.jpg
Exeter-based airline Flybe is carrying on flying the world's biggest fleet of the type of plane involved in the US aircraft crash.

Flybe has 49 of the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft which it uses for domestic and short-haul European routes, including Belfast-Manchester and Exeter-Manchester.

It was a Continental Connection Q400 flying from Newark in New Jersey to Buffalo that crashed into someone's home in Buffalo in New York state, killing all 49 people aboard and one person on the ground.

Flybe said: "We have been in contact with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) during the course of the day, who are completely satisfied with the Flybe Q400 fleet which we continue to operate as normal.

"Flybe can confirm that its Q400 fleet has flown more than a third of a million flights without any serious incident."

The 400 series version of the Dash 8 entered service in January 2000 and a total of 230 have so far been delivered to airline customers worldwide. A further 114 aircraft are on order for airline customers with an additional 129 on option and 49 the subject of announced letters of intent.

This is the first Dash 8 Q400 accident to involve loss of life. However, two Q400s were written off in 2007 after accidents while landing.

One of these - at Aalborg in Denmark in September 2007 - involved Scandinavian airline SAS which later withdrew their Q400s from service.

Any safety implications emerging from the investigation into the Buffalo crash will be passed to the manufacturer and all airlines involved with the American Federal Aviation Administration. This body will keep the UK's Civil Aviation Authority informed.

Over the last few years there has been a big move by airlines operating on shorter routes away from the use of small jets to propeller-driven planes, such as the Q400.

Manufacturers found that these turboprop planes were selling well as they are cheaper to run.

Source
 
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TheLocalYokel

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Early speculation is of a build-up of ice. It's eerily reminiscent of two fatal crashes involving ATR 42s some years ago.
 

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Flybe unhappy after BA writes down value of its stake

Privately-owned airline Flybe has reacted angrily after British Airways wrote down the value of its stake in the low-cost airline by around 25 percent, Reuters reports. Flybe said yesterday that it disagreed with the decision, arguing that its regional airport business model was robust and it would make a pretax profit for the year to March 2010.

BA owns a 15 percent stake in Flybe after the budget airline took over BA's regional short haul network in 2006. BA said in a statement: ‘Despite a growth in Flybe's revenue and an expected reporting of profits for the year ended March 31, 2009, the review (of the investment) showed a further decline in fair value, associated with a lower rate of forecast revenue and earnings growth than previously expected.' It now values the stake at £30 million, implying a full value for Flybe of £200 million.

However, Flybe said: ‘Flybe notes with surprise that British Airways have chosen to impair the value ... Flybe believes that the decision is principally based on BA's view of their own performance and prospects rather than an analytical view of Flybe's track record and future prospects.' The airline added that it was forecasting a profit for 2009/10, had cash reserves of £57 million, and 'places on record that it and its advisors disagree with BA's decision to impair its shareholding in Flybe.'

Source
 

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Flybe celebrates top spot

Staff at Flybe are celebrating after official figures showed it is now the UK’s biggest domestic airline.

The company, which has its headquarters at Exeter International Airport, has overtaken easyJet for the first time in a league table of the number of passengers carried by individual airlines on routes within the UK.

Statistics just released by the Civil Aviation Authority revealed that in May Flybe carried 26 per cent of all UK domestic passengers, ahead of second placed easyJet, which flew 23 per cent.

Six years ago Flybe’s share of the market was just 9.6 per cent.

Flybe’s total of 451,413 passengers for the month — not including its Scottish franchise partner Loganair — was ahead of all its competitors including easyJet, British Airways, BMI and Ryanair.

Mike Rutter, Flybe’s chief commercial officer, said: “Just six years ago, Flybe was a distant fifth in the UK domestic market. It’s a mark of how far we’ve come that, in less than a decade, we’re now number one — a phenomenal achievement."

“We now serve 35 airports in the UK, affirming our commitment to keeping Britain on the move through these challenging economic times.

“The numbers not only reflect the strength and success of our business model, but also the fact that, in bucking the spiralling downturn of aviation trends, we have continued to add routes. Those out of London Gatwick in recent months such as Newquay have all exceeded expectations.”

In February 2007, just before Flybe completed its takeover of BA Connect, it carried 243,636 domestic passengers — well behind easyJet’s total of 481,610.

The takeover pushed Flybe up to second in the table, but still some way behind easyJet. By May last year, Flybe’s total had risen to 487,411 — just behind easyJet’s 490,090.

With Flybe now overtaking easyJet, the latest figures indicate it has seen a less severe fall in passenger numbers. Domestic flights account for around 70 per cent of all Flybe customers.

The CAA’s figures also showed that Flybe carried more domestic passengers to and from London Gatwick than any other airline in April and May. Mr Rutter added: “I would like to thank all our loyal passengers in helping us achieve this magnificent achievement.”


http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/Exet ... ticle.html
 

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This is a massive achievement for them especially with the economy as it is.
 

TheLocalYokel

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They seem to have found a niche and are concentrating on the UK domestic market where their generally smaller aircraft sizes are probably better suited to many routes, especially those that don't involve London.

easyJet, on the other hand, continues to reduce rotations on a number of its domestic routes.
 

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[textarea]Flybe confirm BMI interest

Flybe is interested in acquiring parts of BMI and officially confirmed its interest to Lufthansa ‘quite a while ago,’ Chairman and CEO Jim French told ATWOnline. It is likely to be interested in BMI's regional business, and perhaps its budget arm bmibaby too. Lufthansa said earlier this month that it had received interest from 12 potential buyers for the sale of BMI, in which it currently holds an 80% stake but is working to take to 100%.

Mr French told the online travel news website: ‘The bigger issue is, from what we understand, that the BMI losses are much higher than previously reported. Some parts of the [BMI] business fit in very well in our network, but we are a very low risk company so any kind of deal will require a very detailed due diligence.’

Source[/textarea]
 

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Also posted on the Etihad thread....
[textarea]Etihad signs new codeshare deal with UK's Flybe

Etihad Airways customers around the world will soon be able to fly to a host of new regional airports within the UK, following the signing of a new codeshare agreement with Flybe, the biggest regional airline in Europe.

The new deal will also give air travellers in the UK greater and easier access to the Abu Dhabi-based airline's rapidly expanding network of more than 55 destinations.

Under the deal, Etihad will place its two-letter 'EY' code on a number of services operated by Flybe between Paris, Frankfurt and Manchester and 35 regional airports within the UK. In turn, Flybe will place its 'BE' code on Etihad's flights between the same three destinations and its Abu Dhabi home base.

Etihad Airways currently flies directly from Abu Dhabi to two destinations within the UK - a three-times-per-day service to London Heathrow and a daily service to Manchester. The new codeshare agreement with Flybe will give Etihad customers access to several regional airports in the UK, including Southampton, Birmingham and Belfast.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' chief commercial officer, said:
"The UK is a key market for Etihad Airways and one which we are extremely keen to develop further. Flybe is a well-established and well-run operator with great reach within UK and mainline Europe. This gives air travellers access to a range of regional destinations within the UK previously unavailable to them, while also giving UK fliers greater and much easier access to Etihad's own expanding international network."

Mike Rutter, Flybe Chief Commercial Officer said: "The agreement with Etihad is an exciting development for Flybe, and we are delighted to be working with such an excellent and well-respected airline. The codeshare is win-win for both airlines.

"For Flybe, it enables us to outreach to a new and different market, whilst at the same time further facilitating our leisure and business passengers."

Flybe is the biggest regional airline in Europe and operates flights to 180 destinations across 13 countries. The airline's largest base is Southampton Airport with other bases at Manchester, Birmingham and Belfast City airports.

Etihad Airways codeshare strategy continues to develop with 19 other codeshare agreements now in place with American Airlines, Aer Arran, Bangkok Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cyprus Airways, JAT Airways, Jet Airways, Kuwait Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Royal Air Maroc, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International, Yemen Airways and UK-based airline, bmi.

Source[/textarea]
 

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I take it that this means more growth from Manchester airport with Flybe then, unless they intend to gain slots into Heathrow which is extremely unlikely.
 

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How (if at all) will this affect new up and coming flybe bases, even if they are still in the pipeline, such as LBA for example?
 

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From UK regional airports' perspective it's more a case of having an additional continental hub from which onward travel can be obtained.

For instance, Cardiff and Exeter have Flybe routes to Paris CDG and Exeter also has a Flybe route to Manchester.

People could now book from, say, Cardiff to, say, Melbourne, with one code-share booking, although it would mean stopping off and changing aircraft at both Paris and Abu Dhabi.

Some people in the catchment of Cardiff and Exeter might still prefer this to travelling to London by road or rail and then catching a flight from there which would still mean a stop somewhere, and possibly a change of aircraft, en route.

Cardiff only has KLM at Amsterdam as a continental hub and Exeter has nothing at all, so the Etihad/Flybe link-up might be useful for some people.
 

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[textarea]Airline warning over 'unfair' tax

Flybe says its Newquay to Edinburgh route could be at risk

Internal UK flights from the South West have been hit with an unfair increase in air passenger duty, according to Exeter-based airline Flybe.

The tax went up from £20 to £22, on 1 November, for a domestic return flight.

Flybe says the higher tax is unfair because the South West is an isolated region like the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, which are exempt.

But the Treasury says flying is relatively under-taxed, with no duty paid on fuel or VAT on tickets.

Flybe claimed the tax rise would put routes with "marginal" returns at risk because it would wipe out any profits.

The airline said routes, such as Newquay to Edinburgh and Exeter to Glasgow and north-east England, could be at risk.

But Andrew Bell, from Friends of the Earth in Exeter, said: "We need to make air travel more expensive because the contribution towards climate change is quite severe.

"If we increase the cost of flying out the region, more people are likely to stay and holiday in the region."

The Treasury said most passengers would pay just an extra £1 per flight, but that would go up again by the same amount next year.

Source[/textarea]
 

TheLocalYokel

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Flybe pursuing their chosen path as mini Ryanair when it comes to demands, whether 'threatening' airports, at least those that are small and where they are dominant, to publicly suggesting that routes are at risk because of government taxes.

Whereas Cornwall might be a marginal argument to be treated as the Highlands and Islands, Exeter most certainly isn't.

Exeter is a growing business centre, a prosperous one that large organisations such as the Met Office have relocated to.

I am not against arguing against apd across the board but to single out certain regions for special treatment is divisive and anti-competitive.
 

backtrack

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So is it saying just those routes from South West England to Scotland that "may" be affected?, and if not how will this apd increase effect any of BE's other operations? as the source quotes "The tax went up from £20 to £22, on 1 November, for a domestic return flight" which suggests it could threaten all UK domestic flights.
 

White Heather

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I agree with Local Yokel on this one. Flybe are definitely starting to follow the Michael O Leary doctrine. They have already pulled the plug on many routes out of Norwich due to taxes implemented by the airport itself. Frankly, I can't see a couple of quid making any difference at all to passenger loads. Exeter is a hell of a long way from NE England and Scotland, and most passengers will happily pay the extra £2 to avoid trekking the length of the country by road or rail.

As for the statement by the friends of the Earth guy about aviation contribution to global warming being 'quite severe' - in my book 2% of global CO2 is not severe. But we won't go there today!!!
 

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[textarea]Flybe is UK’s biggest domestic airline

The latest air traffic figures from the CAA reveal that Flybe, along with franchise partner Loganair, are responsible for over two times the number of domestic flights across the UK than any other airline. easyJet and BMI tied for second place, and BA lagged behind significantly coming up in fourth place. Irish airline Ryanair is not included in the figures.

For the last ten years, Flybe has expanded to become a seven million passenger a year domestic airline. For 2009, as a result of the recession, passenger numbers have declined by about six percent.

Source[/textarea]
 

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Flybe has begun preparation work for its brand new training academy, which shall site adjacent to Exeter International Airport. It is scheduled to open later this year.
 

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[textarea]Flybe profits down

Pre-tax profits fell by nearly two-thirds at budget airline Flybe, it was revealed yesterday. The figures cover the year to the end of March 2009, and show pre-tax profits down to £12.8m, from £35.4m in 2007-08, excluding exceptional charges.

The Exeter-based airline said that business travel virtually stopped in the first three months of 2009. The sudden cut in income contributed to ‘unprecedented losses’ in the final quarter of the financial year, it said.

Chairman and chief executive Jim French described the loss as covering ‘a period affected by one of the deepest and most prolonged recessions seen by the aviation industry’. During the same period, BA reported a pre-tax loss of £401m.

Flybe's annual figures for 2008-09 showed passenger numbers rose slightly, from 7m to 7.3m. Turnover also rose, by nearly 7%, to £572m. The airline operates 68 aircraft on 194 routes in 13 countries, flying out of 36 UK airports and 32 European ones, and employs about 3,000 people.

Source[/textarea]
 

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Rumour has it, flybe to opt for an all embraer fleet in the near future, scrapping its Dash 8s and replacing them with the ERJ-170's.

How realistic is this do you think? Open for disccusion...

I see the Dash 8'S the workforce of BE's fleet, a very sound economical aircraft, which boast excellent environmental/efficiency high standards etc. Is it a too big a transition to replace them all with the ERJ-170?
 

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I'd be surprised if it was in the near future, although that can be interpreted as all things to all people.

Embraer is said to be able to tweak its 170s so that operating costs are on a par with the Q 400 though my technical knowledge is nil so I don't know how that could be achieved, if it could.

There is then the cost and time to retrain all the Q400 crews and the disposal of the turbo props as well. I assume most are leased but stand to be corrected. If they are presumably their contract with the lessors will have a bearing on timescale. If most of the Q400s are owned then they will have to find a buyer(s).

It's also said the Q400 is not a popular aircraft with the travelling public - not sure if this is because it's a turbo prop or because it's a Q400.

The only anecdotal evidence I have is that a few years ago near neighbours of ours travelled to Jersey on a Q400 of Flybe and when they got back said they had never been so scared in their lives because to them it rattled and vibrated all the way. They told me it was an old aircraft and were amazed when I corrected them. They were going to come home by seaand only relented when told they would be flying back on a jet - it was in the days of Flybe's Bae 146s.
 

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