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Flybe’s Groningen to London Southend service commences

5th June 2014

First passengers take-off as service aims to fly over 80,000 passengers within three years.

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, today commenced its new Groningen to London Southend service operated by its franchise partner, Stobart Air.

The first London Southend passengers touched down in Groningen at 14:00, with the first departure flight to London leaving that afternoon.

On board the flight to London were some very special guests – Willem Johannes Bussink, Anneke Esther Catharine Veenma and Arend-Frederik Winkel – all of whom were passengers on the very first flight between Groningen and London in 1959.

Customers have the choice of six return flights a week (see full schedule below). One-way fares are from €39.99 including taxes and charges, and are available now for booking at flybe.com. Flybe aims to carry 20,000 passengers in its first full year of operations on the route, with this increasing to 83,000 passengers within three years.

London Southend is London’s newest airport and was recently recognised by consumers as the best airport in the United Kingdom. It is only 53 minutes by train to Liverpool Street Station in the centre of London.

Speaking today at Groningen Airport, Mr Peter O’Mara, Commercial and Operations Development Manager at Stobart Air, said:

"We are delighted to be commencing services here at Groningen, and look forward to today’s passengers being the first of thousands who will experience our services in the years ahead. Bookings for this new route have been strong since they were first announced in April. We are seeing a growing response from both leisure and business passengers who are attracted by competitive prices, convenient schedules and the efficiency of London Southend Airport. Equally, we are very pleased with the level of interest in visiting Groningen, a city famous for its vibrant local culture and historical landmarks, as well as its valuable local economy."

Marco van der Kreeke, Groningen Airport’s Chief Executive said:

"We are delighted to be welcoming passengers from London Southend today. There is enormous potential for this route and Groningen Airport looks forward to a very fruitful relationship with Stobart Air in the coming years. I am very confident of the success of this route which offers convenience and comfort to leisure and business passengers, and connects our region with one of the world’s most important cities."

Schedule (all times are local)

Mon-Fri, Sun from 5 June 2014 – 2 July 2014

Airport Departure time Airport Arrival time
London Southend 11:40 Groningen 14:00
Groningen 14:25 London Southend 14:45

Mon-Fri, Sun1 from 3 July 2014 – 28 March 2015

Airport Departure time Airport Arrival time
London Southend 11:20 Groningen 13:40
Groningen 14:05 London Southend 14:25
London Southend2 15:10 Groningen 17:30
Groningen3 17:55 London Southend 18:15

1 Sunday service operates from 1 September
2 Service operates Mon-Fri from 2 September
3 Service operates Mon-Fri from 1 September

For further information:

Flybe (operated by Stobart Air) - Sarah Regan +353 (0)86 896 3312 / sarah@pr360.ie

Groningen Airport - Monique Clarisse +31 (0)6 515 882 68 / m.clarisse@gae.nl

About London Southend Airport

Over £120 million has been invested in by owners Stobart Group since it was acquired in 2008. New facilities include a train station on the London Liverpool Street, an Air Traffic Control Tower, terminal building, runway extension, 4-star Holiday Inn and radar. To support the airport’s rapid growth, work on a £10 million extension to the terminal has just been completed. London Southend Airport currently has departures each week to Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona, Berlin, Faro, Geneva, Ibiza, Jersey, Krakow, Malaga, Mallorca, Tenerife and Venice with easyJet. Aer Lingus also has three daily return services between London Southend and Dublin, where travellers are able to take advantage of transatlantic connections to Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and Toronto. London Southend Airport was recently named best airport in Britain in the Which? airport passenger survey. More at www.southendairport.com

About Stobart Air

Stobart Air, a franchise flying specialist, operates 764 flights per week across 33 routes from 22 departure points throughout the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland and Ireland. The airline, which employs 420 people, operates services for Flybe and Aer Lingus under franchise flying agreements. Stobart Air is owned by the Stobart Group along with other investors. Stobart Group’s aviation assets comprise London Southend Airport; Carlisle Lake District Airport; Stobart Air; plus air freight, maintenance and airport services.

About Flybe

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline – 179 routes serving 15 countries from 84 departure points, 35 UK/49 European airports* (all routes on sale Mar ’14 – Oct ‘14); is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, the Isle of Man, Inverness, Manchester, Newquay and Southampton airports (UK CAA Feb ’13 - Jan ’14); operates 68 aircraft – 43 Bombardier Q400, 14 Embraer 195 & 11 E175; codeshares with BA, Air France, Etihad, KLM; and was Amsterdam Schiphol’s Airline of the Year 2012 Europe. * Flown under the Flybe brand (26 routes/13 airports exclusively served by Flybe’s franchise partner, Loganair)

About Groningen Airport

Groningen Airport Eelde is situated in the Top of Holland. The airport is a fully equipped international airport, situated within a stone's throw of the city of Groningen. The nearness of the airport, its excellent accessibility, its convenient departure times and its fast check-in procedures have ensured that an ever increasing number of travellers, living within a catchment area of 3,2 inhabitants, prefer Groningen Airport Eelde to the busy Schiphol Airport. In 2013 Groningen Airport Eelde received a Zooveraward in the category Best Airport. Groningen Airport Eelde offers flights to destinations in f.e. Spain, Greece, Portugal and Turkey. In 2013 the runway of Groningen Airport Eelde was extended to 2,500 metres. With the completion of the runway extension, more destinations fall within the scope of Groningen Airport Eelde, making the airport much more interesting for setting up new routes.