Flybe makes a play for disaffected rail passengers

Flybe makes a play for disaffected rail passengers

Flybe is making a play for disaffected rail passengers on the back of a critical report into UK train travel.

A Which? report stated earlier this week that 29% of rail passengers suffered delays when they last travelled, with travellers from southeast England most likely to have their journeys affected.

Out of 21 rail companies referenced in the survey of 7,309 travellers, the companies with the most reported delays were Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern, First Capital Connect, South Eastern and First Great Western.

The regional carrier claims to offer a faster and cheaper alternative to rail travel on eight out of ten of its routes.

The report confirms recent results comparing rail and air travel between major UK destinations by Flybe. Key routes evaluated included:

  • London–Aberdeen: Nine hours by rail on average and one hour 40 minutes when flying (according to standard Flybe flight times)
  • Manchester–Newquay: More than seven hours on average by rail and one hour 10 minutes when flying
  • London–Exeter: More than two hours by rail and one hour 10 minutes on average when flying

The airline’s chief commercial officer Paul Simmons also pointed out that regulated rail fares have increased by 2.2%.

He said: “This report clearly shows the dissatisfaction voiced by customers that rail travel is less comfortable, less affordable and less reliable than ever before.

“Flybe offers the most comprehensive choice of domestic routes connecting the UK regions and, on eight out of ten routes, we are faster and cheaper on average than the train.

“The rail industry has a long way to go in order to win back the hearts and minds of UK travellers and in the interim, we look forward to welcoming many more of its disillusioned passengers on board our flights.”


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