23 April 2014 at 08.14 GMT
A network of domestic routes from London City airport was today confirmed by Flybe, together with a service to Dublin.
The regional airline is to serve the business centres of Edinburgh, Belfast, Inverness, Exeter and the irish capital from the Docklands airport as part of a five-year deal, in a move which was the subject of industry speculation last month.
Services are scheduled to start on October 27 with tickets going on sale immediately.
Off-peak leisure flights to selected ski, French regional and northern Spanish destinations are also planned. More information about these routes will be announced in the coming weeks.
The expansion follows the airline securing £150 million in additional funding last month as part of a financial turnaround plan under new chief executive Saad Hammad.
Flybe is to deploy five aircraft for the London City services, flying from three of its regional bases, with the airline expecting to carry up to 500,000 passengers a year on the network.
The schedule will include four times daily flights to Edinburgh and Dublin, three times a day flights to Belfast and Exeter and twice daily flights to Inverness.
The carrier says it expects the new routes to improve connectivity from the UK regions and to appeal to City and Canary Wharf-based business travellers, with Edinburgh and Dublin likely to be in particular demand.
Flybe claims the London City services will be “significantly faster” overall than travelling via Heathrow or Gatwick, or by road or rail.
The London City deal follows Flybe launching eight new routes from Birmingham and four routes from Southend with franchise partner Stobart Air.
Hammad described the move as “a significant landmark in the rebirth of Flybe”.
It follows the airline’s withdrawal from Gatwick and the sale of take-off and landing slots to easyJet .
Hammad said: “We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport following a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict route assessment model.
“Dedicating five growth aircraft initially to these new routes is a major statement of intent and we look forward to building a successful and growing presence there over the coming years.
“Flybe is today already connecting over seven million passengers a year across the UK and Europe. With a major London connection, we reaffirm our place as the UK’s regional airline.”
The airport’s chief executive Declan Collier added: “London City airport is poised for significant growth in the next ten years – growth that will see it achieve 120,000 flight movements per annum, with an associated six million passengers by 2023.
“Today’s announcement is an extremely important step on that journey – Flybe will bring an immediate uplift of up to half a million new passengers to the airport.
“In addition, Flybe’s selection of routes serves to cement further LCY’s status as the business traveller’s airport of choice, underpinned by our ‘location, convenience and speed’ customer propositions.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly