Europe’s biggest regional airline Flybe has announced its summer 2020 schedule. Included in the announcement is a huge increase in services from London’s Southend Airport, the appearance of the Embraer E190 on more routes and a new connection to Stuttgart from Manchester.
214 flights a week from Southend
Flybe has released its summer 2020 schedule, although by the time it’s flying these routes it will already be Virgin Connect. Regardless of its name, the summer schedule held a few surprises, mostly for Londoners with multiple new connections at Southend.
In total, Southend Airport is getting six brand new routes. These are Belfast City, Edinburgh and Glasgow, all operating 18 times per week. There’s also a 13 times a week Newcastle service, a daily service to the Isle of Man and a twice-weekly service to Jersey.
These are complemented by a continuation of existing services from Southend to Groningen, Caen, Newquay and Rennes. Flybe’s expansion at Southend doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that the airport is owned by Stobart, a 30% investor in the consortium that now owns Flybe.
In total, Flybe will be offering 214 flights a week to and from London Southend. The six new routes will be operated by Flybe’s DHC Q400 turboprops, while the existing services will be operated by ATR aircraft already based at Southend.
Other schedule highlights
In addition to bolstering its presence at Southend, Flybe is extending its winter ski routes through until the Easter break. Specifically, there are eight routes which will be continued for longer than usual. These are:
- Chambery from Birmingham, Southampton and Exeter
- Geneva from Cardiff, Exeter, Isle of Man, Jersey and Southampton
Flybe says it is focusing on a combination of business travel and visiting friends and relatives travel for next summer. As such, passengers will see more of the Embraer E190 on certain services to accommodate peak demand.
Belfast and Edinburgh to London City at peak times will see the E-Jet in service, and the Birmingham to Edinburgh route will also have an E190 for times of increased demand.
Another brand new route which could be interesting for some will be a daily service from Manchester to Stuttgart. The daily E-Jet service operates early in the morning, which Flybe says is to facilitate connectivity for business travel.
There are more frequencies to Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Hanover from Manchester too, with Amsterdam moving from three to four times daily and the other from four times per week to daily.
The biggest loser
While Flybe is keen to trumpet its increases in service at many airports, one airport stands out as the biggest loser of the day. Poor old Southampton Airport has lost no less than nine routes as part of the shakeup. According to ITV, these include Faro, Palma, Alicante, Malaga, Biarritz, Nantes, Bordeaux, Dusseldorf and Bastia.
On the upside, Southampton is getting more frequencies to Newcastle, Edinburgh and Charles de Gaulle. Flybe has made it clear that today’s announcement is not the full extent of its summer schedule, so perhaps there will be some pleasant surprises for the south of England in further announcements?
Most of these routes are effective from March 2020. Tickets are on sale from tomorrow, November 14th.