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29th June 2009

London Gatwick to Leeds Bradford service takes off

<Former Emmerdale star helps celebrate as inaugural flight takes to the skies>

Flybe, Europe’s largest and most successful regional airline, today operated the inaugural flight of its new Leeds Bradford to London Gatwick service following red-carpet celebrations that featured an appearance by popular former Emmerdale celeb, Mathew Bose who played the role of barman, Paul Lambert. 

Mathew also presented the first passenger who had booked, together with the first Interline* passenger travelling, with souvenir magnums of Champagne.

Flybe came to Yorkshire’s rescue on the key route to the Capital following BMI’s decision back in March to axe its service from Leeds Bradford to London Heathrow. Flybe quickly committed to stepping in to operate its own business-friendly schedule that is so crucial to supporting the regional economies of Yorkshire and the Humber.

Says Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer: “We are delighted to be starting our service from Leeds Bradford to London Gatwick today and to welcome the first passengers on board. Our ticket sales have exceeded initial forecasts and I’m delighted to report strong demand on this key route that is of great strategic importance and which we know is vital for both business and leisure passengers both out of, and into the region.”

Flybe’s ticket sales have been boosted by increasing numbers of passengers choosing to take advantage of the affordable fares offered by Flybe Connections. This is a seamless service offered by the airline that gives the option of connecting from Leeds Bradford to no less than 17 Flybe destinations throughout the UK and regional Europe in one convenient thru-booking online transaction.

In addition, those travelling overseas can take advantage of Flybe’s *Interline arrangement with over 140 international airline partners by booking tickets through their travel agent to an enormous choice of international destinations, meaning they check in their luggage only once on leaving Leeds Bradford before arriving at their final destination.

Tony Hallwood, Commercial Director at LBIA, says: “We are naturally delighted that Flybe has stepped in with this new service. As part of our ‘Get Business Moving’ campaign - which aims to assist companies in the region who commute regularly to London with a cost effective and speedy access to the Capital - we are offering Flybe passengers free Fast Track though airport security during July and August to make the commute even easier.”

Flybe’s convenient and affordable new service to London Gatwick from Leeds Bradford is operated by state-of-the-art Bombardier Q400 aircraft with fares starting from £24.99 one way including taxes and charges.