Flybe and Stobart Air strike franchise agreement

Flybe and Stobart Air strike franchise agreementStobart Air – formerly Aer Arann – is to run new routes from Southend airport in partnership with Flybe.

A five-year franchising deal has been agreed between the carrier run by the Essex airport’s owner Stobart Group and the regional airline.

The franchise operation is due to start on June 5 with two 72-seat ATR aircraft in Flybe livery.

Tickets go on sale via Flybe.com on April 3 to six destinations in Benelux and Northern Europe.

Passenger numbers on the six routes are expected to increase to approximately 200,000 a year in 2015.

The agreement has been structured to accommodate additional aircraft and routes if required.

Flybe has experience as a franchisor, most notably with Scottish carrier Loganair which has 17 aircraft operating in Flybe colours.

Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad said: “We are delighted to be extending the Flybe brand further into the southeast.

“Today’s news is also further evidence of our commitment to providing true regional connectivity across the UK and we look forward to unveiling a major programme of new base and route development over the coming months.”

Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: “This agreement represents an exciting expansion of our relationship with Flybe.

“London Southend airport is an ideal access point for Flybe customers travelling to and from London and the southeast and we look forward to welcoming them.”

The deal follows Flybe selling its take off and landing slots at Gatwick to easyJet.

Details of the new routes are to be announced closer to the time they of on sale net month, a spokeswoman said.

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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