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Company history

Company history

November 2013 - Simon Laffin appointed Non Executive Chairman.

Aug 2013 - Saad Hammad appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Aug 2013 - Jim French takes on the role of Non Executive Chairman.

June 2013 - Flybe celebrated 30 years of Southampton – Belfast City route.

April 2013 - Flybe awarded Amsterdam Schipol Airport’s Airline of the Year 2012 Europe.

Dec 2012 - Flybe comes the first UK carrier to offer passengers automatic check-in at point of booking.

March 2012 - Flybe announces improved point to point connections through Manchester airport, becoming the first ever independent carrier in the UK to create a regional network hub.

April 2012 - Flybe launch 'Making flying better', a fundamental long term approach, with a new philosophy focused on providing clear booking options, upfront transparent pricing and through processes and technology, an improved hassle-free travel experience.

April 2011 - £13 million Training Academy officially opened by Rt Hon George Osborne MP

July 2011 - Flybe acquires Finnish Commuter Airlines (Finncomm) Finland's largest domestic air carrier, in a newly formed joint venture with Finnair, Finland's flag carrier.

October 2011 - Flybe commences its first ever Winter Schedule with 25 routes and choice of up to 500 flights a week in the Nordic and Baltic market.

November 2011 - The first two Embraer 175s arrive at Flybe HQ following the announcement of a committed financing deal of approximately $500 million for 20 new Embraer regional jet aircraft.


2010 - Flybe and Air France sign extensive codeshare agreement

2010 - Flybe signs multi-billion dollar deal with Embraer for up to 140 Embraer 175 and E-family aircraft to support its planned European growth

December 2010 - Flybe successfully floats on the London Stock Exchange.

2009  - Flybe given prestigious Air Transport World Regional Airline of the Year 2009 award in Washington DC

2009 - Flybe announces plans for a new Training Academy to be built in Exeter

2009 - Flybe’s CEO Jim French awarded CBE in Queen’s birthday honours list for services to aviation

2008 - Announce landmark franchise agreement with Loganair, the Scottish regional airline, that will see it take to the skies in Flybe colours on 26th October 2008

2008 - Introduces new 3-a-day Aberdeen to London Gatwick service after BA withdrawal of service

2008 - Flybe named by UK Government as an Awarding Body for Flybe’s own approved qualifications

2008 - Flybe re-accommodates 20,000 passengers left without flights after collapse of Isle of Man-based airline Euromanx, all without charge

2008  - Flybe announces Charity tie up with Cancer Research UK

2007 - Acquisition of BA Connect completed 5th March with full integration on 25th March

2007 - Launches world first for Eco Labelling scheme for airline industry

2007 - Rewards4all, the UK’s first low cost customer loyalty scheme opens to all passengers

2006 - £12m invested in a brand new Hangar Facility in Exeter

2006 - Becomes first low cost airline to offer passenger choice of including Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance protection as part of booking process

2006 - Launches on-line check-in facility

2006 - Takes delivery in Brazil of first ever Embraer 195 aircraft

2006 - Flybe agrees to acquire BA Connect in a deal that will see Flybe become Europe's largest regional airline

2005 - Flybe signs a deal with Bombardier Aerospace for a further 20 Q400 aircraft

2005 - Voted most popular UK Domestic and France-bound airline in Holiday Which?

2005 - CEO Jim French wins Executive of the Year at the Low Fares and Regional Aviation Summit

2005 - Massive aircraft order announced for up to 26 brand new Embraer 195 aircraft (14 firm orders) which sees Flybe as the global launch customer

2005 - Wins award for Best Low Fares Airline Northern Ireland

2005 - Became first airline to introduce Fair Deal on Baggage

2003 - Flybe voted the ‘Most Recommended UK Low Fares Airline’ by Holiday Which? Magazine

July 2002: A new beginning for the airline as British European was forced to dramatically change its business model to survive in such a highly competitive and aggressive new low cost travel era. Flybe was born and, along with it, a bright modern brand and changes to commercial, fleet and operational policies that transformed the airline.




2000: The airline announced a new brand name at the beginning of May; British European. The rebrand reflected the true size and scope of what was now the UK’s third-largest scheduled airline.



The franchise partnership with Air France continued to expand in 1997 to include Birmingham International to Paris Charles de Gaulle and Glasgow for which 3 more BAe 146 aircraft were acquired.

1994/1995: More BAe 146 jets joinined the fleet, bringing the total number of jets to seven. Three new Business lounges were opened at Belfast City, Jersey and Guernsey, as well as the launch of the innovative Ticket to Freedom frequent flyer scheme to reward the loyal business customer.

1993: Three British Aerospace 146 Whisper Jets were introduced to operate routes from London to Belfast City and the Channel Islands. This proved such a success that a fourth jet was acquired later in the year to operate Belfast City to Birmingham.

In 1993 Business Class service was launched, making Jersey European Airways the first domestic airline to offer two classes.

The industry started recognising Jersey European Airways as a major regional airline when it won the "Best UK Regional Airline" award for 1993 and 1994 at the Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism awards. Jet maintenance was brought to Exeter in 1994, expanding the scope for third-party customer services.

1991: Jersey European Airways gained its first London route from Guernsey to London Gatwick and shortly afterwards the route from Jersey to London Gatwick began operation.


Success and growth continued into the 1990s with the acquisition of six additional Fokker F27s as passenger numbers continued to increase. A new branding was launched in 1990, including a new livery and new uniforms.



Jersey European Airways and Spacegrand were initially run separately until 1985 when they were amalgamated and Exeter became the airline’s headquarters and base for Technical Services.

November 1983: The company was taken over by the Walkersteel group, already the parent company of Blackpool-based charter airline, Spacegrand.


Jersey European Airways was formed and began operating regional services from Jersey in 1979.