Flybe is to be rebranded as Virgin Connect next year.

The European Commission approved the sale of Flybe to the newly-formed Connect Airways, which includes Virgin, Stobart Group, Cyrus Capital, earlier this year.

Connect Airways chief executive, Mark Anderson, unveiled the airline’s new name today.

The airline said it “marked the beginning of Flybe’s journey into the future as part of the extended Virgin family”.

An overall rebrand is scheduled to be completed next year.

Anderson said: “We are hugely excited by this milestone in our airline’s 40-year history. We will remain true to our heritage and reason for being, which is offering essential regional connectivity to local communities.

“At its heart, Virgin Connect will be passionately focused on becoming Europe’s most loved and successful regional airline.

“It will offer travel that is simple and convenient with the personal touch. Our customers will naturally expect the same exceptional travel experience as they do with other Virgin-related brands. Whatever their reason for flying, we want our customers to feel loved and know we will always put their needs first in every decision we take.

“As part of the Virgin family, we now have a tremendously re-energised team. From here on in, we invite our customers, partners and the communities we serve to join us on every step of this exciting journey.”