Flybe boss offers reassurance over safety

Flybe boss offers reassurance over safety

Flybe’s new boss has denied that anything is “going wrong” for the airline, following a series of safety incidents in the past five weeks.

Chief executive, Christine Ourmieres-Widener, said pilots were following procedures when an aircraft carried out an emergency landing at Edinburgh airport on Tuesday evening.

That followed a crash landing of an aircraft flying from Edinburgh to Amsterdam Schiphol airport last week. Its landing gear collapsed, and it skidded to a halt on one of its wings.

A Flybe pilot had to shut down an engine mid-flight on the same day, just as another pilot did on January 24.

Ourmieres-Widener, who joined the airline in January, said: “Safety is our top priority. Our pilots have been following procedures and they have been trained to follow these procedures precisely.”

Asked by the BBC what was going wrong for Flybe following the series of incidents, she replied: “I don’t think we can say something is going wrong, and any conclusion will be difficult, because I think we have to work with all the authorities and with the investigation team, and our team working on the incident. We may draw a conclusion, but it’s too early to say that.”

Flybe has leased many of its aircraft from other airlines.

Asked if one of these deals had led to sub-standard aircraft, Ourmieres-Widener said: “We are following all the procedures for airworthiness with the authorities.

“All the aircraft delivered have been following the rules and procedures defined by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). There’s no way that any measure that could compromise safety could be possible. Again, safety is our first priority.”

Ourmieres-Widener said she believed Flybe could be successful where Virgin Little Red had failed on domestic routes from Scotland to Heathrow because it will be operating smaller aircraft, so it will have lower costs.

She added that there would be “very competitive pricing” on the routes from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to the London hub.

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