6th February 2009
Passengers scramble for seats as regional airline operates with minimal disruption
Flybe, Europe’s largest and most successful regional airline – just recognised as 2009 Regional Airline of the Year by a leading global aviation magazine - has this week demonstrated its ability to keep Britain on the move, not just through tough economic times but also during the adverse weather conditions sweeping the country that continues to bring national transportation to a virtual halt.
Today, with snow still falling in many parts of the UK, other carriers continue to hit passengers with heavy cancellations whilst Flybe continues to meet exceptionally heavy demand with minimal disruption to its 400+ flights.
The earlier part of the week reflects the same picture. Flybe, the number one UK domestic point to point airline serving five times more domestic routes than any other carrier and the largest airline at eight UK airports, has been forced to cancel only 117 flights in total so keeping passenger disruption to a minimum.
And sales are sizzling today! The airline is reporting up to three times the rate of usual day-of-sale departure sales, with strong last-minute demand out of Scotland, the north of England and Wales in particular as travellers scramble to find alternative connections allowing them to by-pass snowbound airports especially for onward travel to London Gatwick, where Flybe is the third largest slot holder, and other European capitals.
The start of the Six Nations Rugby series, with opening games being played this weekend in both Edinburgh and Dublin, is also seeing Flybe seats flying off the shelf as desperate fans seek alternative travel arrangements especially from Cardiff and Southampton.
Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer comments: “This week has been operationally challenging for everyone but the strength of our regional network model has more than proved itself in allowing us to keep Britain on the move. Despite the fact that the heavy snow had obviously forced us to cancel some flights earlier in the week, we’ve not come anywhere near the volume of cancellations experienced by other airlines for which we are extremely proud.
“Our staff have done an absolutely amazing job in keeping passenger disruption to a minimum and, from reports coming in from all over the country, new passengers flying with us are more than appreciative of our reliability and quality standard of service we are managing to maintain against all the odds.”