Flybe today confirmed the redeployment of six remaining Embraer E195 regional jets from March 2016 in an effort to cut costs.
One aircraft will replace a Q400 turboprop on a subsidised ‘public service obligation’ (PSO) route from Newquay to Gatwick London to meet increased demand on the route.
Two aircraft will be based at Doncaster Sheffield airport, flying to cities and regional centres across the Continent.
Three aircraft will operate at Birmingham and Manchester airports. Two of these will provide additional capacity on busy routes and the third E195 will provide standby cover across Flybe’s network.
The airline has been seeking to redeploy a total of 14 E195s in an effort to relieve the financial burden of the aircraft and has previously struck deals to operate services from Cardiff, Exeter and Norwich airports.
Chief executive, Saad Hammad, speaking ahead of the airline’s half-year financial results on November 11, said: “The arrangements announced today are a superb result for all Flybe stakeholders.
“They avoid the need for any upfront payment, enhance UK regional connectivity and have mitigated exposures to Flybe.
“With the last of our major legacy issues behind us, we can now focus all our attention on becoming a world-class regional airline.”
Doncaster Sheffield airport managing director, Steve Gill, said: “This is a transformational announcement which brings massively enhanced connectivity to the Sheffield City region’s airport.
“Doncaster Sheffield airport is already the fastest growing airport outside of London. These two new aircraft will make available 500,000 new flight seats and is expected to grow our passenger traffic by around 30%.
“This news comes just a few months before the new motorway link road opens which will enhance the airports catchment area with journey times to the airport reducing by 20 minutes.”
Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “The success of the PSO service has meant that passengers have sometimes struggled to get tickets for some flights.
“We know that this service is hugely important for businesses in Cornwall, with a large number of people regularly using the route to travel to and from London.
“I am sure that the business community will welcome the increased number of seats and reduced journey times provided by the new jet aircraft.”
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