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3rd April 2009

Flybe marks new Newcastle era with Shearer

<Leading regional airline removes black nose cone from its Kevin Keegan-named aircraft>

Flybe, Europe's largest and most successful regional airline, is showing Newcastle United fans its support and has removed the black nose cone from its ‘Kevin Keegan’ aircraft following the news that legendary Geordie player, Alan Shearer, has agreed to take over as the Magpies’ new manager.
During a high profile unveiling event in July 2008, Flybe named one of its Bombardier Q400 aircraft after the then Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan, with a larger than life-size image of the sporting star that remains emblazoned on its side, in honour of his service to the club as a player and manager.

However, following Keegan’s dramatic departure from the club in September, Flybe – whose Chief Commercial Officer, Mike Rutter is himself a Geordie –  nailed its colours to the mast in support of distraught fans by painting a black nose cone on the G-KKEV registered aircraft.

Mr Rutter comments: “Only two events could have ever persuaded us to remove the black nose cone on our ‘Kevin Keegan’ aircraft: either the return of Kevin as manager, or an acceptable replacement such as Alan Shearer.  So now, as a lifelong fan of the club, I am delighted to officially mark the end of our period of mourning by removing the black nose cone as the club moves forward with into a new era hopefully with Alan Shearer.”  The new-look aircraft can be seen operating out of Newcastle airport this weekend.

Flybe, as the number one UK domestic regional point to point airline serving five times more domestic routes than any other airline, with eight routes serving Newcastle including its popular London Gatwick service and two summer routes to Limoges and Rennes, makes a significant investment into local football and the communities it serves.

Mr Rutter adds: “The 2nd September 2008 – the day Kevin Keegan was ousted - was a dark day for Newcastle and for Geordies worldwide. Today, April 2nd, we are showing our support and rejoicing once again with club fans over the news that yet another Tyneside legend, Alan Shearer, has returned to take things in hand at St James Park.”