Announced today in a tweet, UK regional airline Flybe will rebrand as Virgin Connect in 2020. Described by the airline as the new go-to name in regional flying, the announcement was accompanied by a new website explaining the airline’s journey to become Virgin Connect.
In the announcement on the website, Flybe state:
As Flybe, we have been connecting passengers across the UK and Europe for 40 years and as we embark on an ambitious transformation, Virgin Connect will continue our work as Europe’s Largest Regional Airline.
As part of the extended Virgin family, Virgin Connect will reflect the innovation and entrepreneurship of Virgin’s wider brands, putting our customers first and offering better value.
Flybe was bought out in February by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic, called Connect Airways. Also in the consortium are British transport seniors Stobart and financing firm Cyrus Capital Partners.
Virgin Atlantic told Simple Flying,
“We’re delighted to welcome Virgin Connect to the Virgin family, with our former EVP of Customer, Mark Anderson, at the helm as CEO. As Virgin Connect embarks on the next phase of its journey to become the UK’s most loved regional airline, we’re excited to work together, as we provide customers with the best possible experiences that all Virgin brands are famous for. We look forward to welcoming many more customers from across the UK and Europe on-board very soon, as they connect on their way to our many international destinations.”
Excited to announce that in 2020 we will be joining the #VirginFamily as Virgin Connect, your new go-to name in regional flying ❤️
— Flybe ✈ (@flybe) October 15, 2019
Virgin Connect – a new regional airline for the UK
Connect Airways CEO, Mark Anderson, was joined today by over 200 Flybe leaders for the long-awaited unveiling of the airline’s new name as it enters a new era as an independent company under the Virgin brand with the name, Virgin Connect.
The rebrand will see the purple giving way to a red livery, as well as the new website and ancillary items. Judging by the website so far, the branding will be very much in line with Virgin’s corporate identity.
In a release on the new website, CEO of Connect Airways, Mark Anderson, commented:
“We are hugely excited by this milestone in our airline’s 40-year history. We will remain true to our heritage and reason for being, which is offering essential regional connectivity to local communities.
“At its heart, Virgin Connect will be passionately focused on becoming Europe’s most loved and successful regional airline. It will offer travel that is simple and convenient with the personal touch. Our customers will naturally expect the same exceptional travel experience as they do with other Virgin-related brands. Whatever their reason for flying, we want our customers to feel loved and know we will always put their needs first in every decision we take.
“As part of the Virgin family, we now have a tremendously re-energised team. From here on in, we invite our customers, partners and the communities we serve to join us on every step of this exciting journey!”
Simple Flying has reached out to both Flybe and Virgin Atlantic for comment and will update this breaking story as more details are received.