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31 October 2011

Legendary football manager sir alex ferguson kicks off flybe's inaugural manchester to knock flight

Leading regional airline celebrates the start of the new year-round service from the North West of England to Ireland with legendary send off from an iconic sporting figure

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s Number One Domestic carrier, today celebrated the inaugural flight of its new year-round service from Manchester Airport to Ireland West Airport Knock, with sporting legend and Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sir Alex was met at Manchester International Airport by Flybe’s General Manager Market Development, Andrea Hayes, MD of Manchester Airport; Andrew Harrison, Director of Ireland West Airport Knock; Joe Gilmore, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain Vanessa Markey and Operations Director for Manchester Airport, Tim McDermott. Sir Alex then surprised the Flybe crew and passengers on Flybe’s George Best painted aircraft, presenting the first passenger to check in, Harold Hampson from Knock, with a bottle of champagne as a memorable kick- off for the new service.

Flights will operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with one way fares from £29.99 including taxes and charges. It offers both leisure and business passengers’ convenient timings, particularly for those wanting to take advantage of long weekends at the popular West of Ireland destination.

The route will not only open up opportunities for people from the North West to take advantage of Western Ireland’s spectacular scenery and rich history that includes the world-famous Knock Shrine, but also give passengers from that region a direct and convenient link to one of the UKs leading cities that also offers a wealth of flight connections to the rest of the world.


Effective October 30th 2011- March 23rd 2012

Depart  Manchester  1020  arr Knock          1130
Depart  Knock           1155  arr Manchester  1310

Depart Manchester  1115   arr Knock           1225
Depart Knock           1250   arr Manchester   1405


On behalf of Flybe Europe MD, Andrew Strong, Ms Hayes said: “We are of course naturally delighted and honoured that Sir Alex is here with us this morning to celebrate our inaugural service to Knock. As Europe’s largest regional airline and the largest scheduled carrier by aircraft movement operating from Manchester International, we recognise the importance of keeping Britain on the move and remain committed to contributing to the growth of the local business and tourism economies.”

Tim McDermott, Operations Director for Manchester Airport, said: “It’s great to see Flybe serving more destinations and we know our passengers will be pleased to see more routes like Knock on offer. They are already one of the largest airlines at Manchester and we hope to support them as they look to deliver plans for future European growth. As we are both regional operators, we are delighted to see that they will continue their development over the next year from this airport.”

Added Ms Hayes: “Flybe expects this new route between Manchester and Knock to become a popular addition to the affordable and diverse route network we already offer at Manchester International Airport and we look forward to welcoming many thousands of business and leisure passengers on board this winter.”