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9th July 2009

Flybe chicks take to the skies!

UKs number one domestic airline has osprey chick named after it to mark assistance with repopulation programme

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s number one domestic carrier, is today helping transport a number of osprey chicks from Inverness to Malaga as part of the Inverness-based Highland Wildlife Foundation’s initiative to repopulate the Iberian Peninsula with the rare birds.

Ian Taylor, Flybe’s General Manager Market Development was present at the airport to see the rare birds on their way and Professor Roy Dennis, who runs the Highland Wildlife Foundation, officially tagged and named one of the chicks ‘Flybe’ to thank the airline for its small but significant role in helping him with the programme.

The birds will fly with Flybe from Inverness to London Gatwick today on one of Flybe’s state of the art Embraer 195 jet aircraft, travel by car to the south coast, then fly from Southampton to Malaga on Friday.  Each osprey chick has been assigned its own IATA-approved box in which to travel.  The Flybe fleet scores impressive ratings on the airline’s ground breaking eco-labelling scheme for the aviation industry that measures the aircraft’s environmental impact and Flybe estimates that osprey chick  Flybe would likely score a little higher, and so has tailormade its own ecolabel with which to mark the occasion!

Flybe’s cargo operation is no stranger to transporting rare species such as Blondie the albino hedgehog who was flown to Guernsey; a sextet of rare Australian ‘big belly’ seahorses to the Deep Sea World Aquarium in Edinburgh and, from Inverness, regularly flies consignments of live langoustine to markets in Spain from the Highlands.

David Hourston of Dalcross Logistics, Inverness-based freight forwarder and Flybe’s cargo handling agent at Inverness Airport, says: “We’ve worked with Professor Dennis for a number of years now and are delighted to be working with him on this worthwhile cause again this year.  A lot of planning goes into preparing for the chicks’ journey to ensure that it goes without a hitch, and we are grateful for Flybe’s invaluable help on this occasion.”   

Ian Taylor, Flybe's General Manager – Market Development comments: “Flybe is strongly committed to the communities it serves and so have been delighted to help the Highland Wildlife Foundation with its ongoing repopulation programme.  As the UK’s number one domestic airline and the largest scheduled carrier flying out of 10 UK airports, we have grown something of a reputation for our expertise in carrying rare and precious cargo. This one is particularly special and we will be following Flybe, the osprey chick’s progress with great interest.”