Manchester Airport is to benefit from an additional 86 regional point to point connections created by Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s Number One Domestic carrier, as it becomes the first ever independent carrier in the UK to create a regional network hub from where passengers will have an additional weekday choice of 86 improved connections through Manchester International Airport.
This will benefit in particular passengers travelling to Aberdeen, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Inverness and the Isle of Man as well as those flying with its franchise partner, Loganair from Norwich. Flights are available for booking now at www.flybe.com for travel from March 26th with one way fares from £29.99 including taxes and charges.
In committing to better serve its passengers with improved connectivity, Flybe has worked hard with Manchester Airport to make these new services possible and reduce minimum connecting times to as little as 35 minutes. By streamlining connectivity through its Manchester hub, the airline believes the added choice of conveniently connecting domestic flights will prove of special benefit to those travelling on business, those wanting an affordable choice of multiple day returns and, just as importantly, creating additional opportunities for regional communities to access the many flight connections to the rest of the world offered from Manchester Airport.
Simon Lilley, Flybe’s Director of Marketing, says: “Flybe has always looked at innovative ways to improve its services and with 5% of our passengers already taking advantage of the many connections we have been offering for several years, it made perfect sense to further optimise this obvious need. As Europe’s largest regional airline serving 36 UK departure points, it made sense to ‘join’ more of them up and do it over Manchester, one of our largest bases. Manchester Airport immediately saw the potential and have worked hard with us to ensure that it could accommodate our re-adjusted schedule that now gives our passengers the added choice of over 80 new domestic connections. We also expect to see an increasing number of regional passengers choose to connect to the many international flights offered at Manchester rather than travelling through Heathrow.”
Commenting on the deal, Ken O’Toole, Manchester Airport Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We welcome Flybe’s establishment of a hub operation at Manchester Airport. Flybe’s selection of Manchester is a testament to the class-leading facilities available and confirms our position as the leading regional airport in the UK. We look forward to the increased connectivity and passenger volumes this announcement will bring.”
Flybe’s travel trade partners are equally positive about the move. Brian Potter, MD of Clyde Travel Management: “With such a capacity shortage at Heathrow, Manchester is an obvious benefactor. These additional Flybe services should really help change people’s perceptions of where they can connect to via Manchester. Flybe now offers a wealth of options both through its added UK flights and because of its agreements with many of the long haul carriers to allow through booking of baggage and common baggage allowances to final destinations.” The Isle of Man, Online Regional Travel Group’s CEO Brian Kelly added: “In business it pays to make the right connection. Connecting to the regions with Flybe through Manchester gets our business and leisure travellers to the destination of their choice every time. Manchester makes a natural connecting hub from the Isle of Man and is of significant importance to our clients.”