Flybe to cut fleet size and close bases in Cardiff and Doncaster
After a day of confusion and delays, Flybe has confirmed it will scrap a number of bases and reduce the size of its fleet.
The regional carrier confirmed its previously stated strategy to return all of its 118-seat Embraer 195 planes to lessors.
Six of the planes will be returned this financial year.
The 78-seat Bombardier Q-400 will now act as the backbone of Flybe’s network.
Flybe, which was recently saved from bankruptcy, also confirmed it would close a number of bases.
Following discussions with Exeter airport, Flybe will cease jet operations this winter.
The last jet flights will therefore operate on October 26th.
The carrier said the move will not impact the Q400 operated schedule out of Exeter, nor the existing base structure.
As with Exeter, Flybe will cease jet operations from Norwich with effect from October.
This will not affect services at Norwich operated by Flybe’s franchise partner, Eastern Airways.
Flybe will also cease jet operations out of Cardiff and Doncaster this winter.
Flybe currently has bases at both airports to service its jet aircraft.
Once the jet flights cease, the airline will close these bases, but will continue to offer flights to and from both Cardiff and Doncaster on the Q400.
A Doncaster Sheffield Airport spokesperson said: “Flybe have operated services at various levels from Doncaster Sheffield Airport since 2006.
“Flybe have recently changed ownership with future plans to restructure including a move away from jet flying to stabilise the business across their network.
“We are working closely with Flybe and expect them to continue operating at Doncaster Sheffield Airport beyond the current summer and winter schedule which will be on sale shortly.”
In a statement, Flybe added today’s cancellations are not linked to the longer-term decisions and are the result of a combination of other factors.
It is thought a shortage of pilots contributed to today’s cancellations.
Flybe chief executive, Christine Ourmières-Widener, said: “Our fleet reduction has always been core to improving our profitability.
“We are committed to assisting all our affected employees across the impacted Flybe bases.
“We remain fully committed to Exeter, Cardiff and Doncaster airports and will continue to offer a comprehensive choice of regional and European destinations operated by our 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft.”
Flybe chief executive, Christine Ourmières-Widener, below offers an explanation for the cancellations experienced today by passengers: