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18 MAY 2015

Leading regional airline marks start of operations at Bournemouth Airport with plane naming ceremony

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has today (Monday 18th May 2015) officially opened a brand new base at Bournemouth Airport from where it will operate initially two 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft flying nine routes. These feature a total choice of up to 53 flights a week to and from Amsterdam, Biarritz, Deauville, Dublin, Glasgow, Jersey, Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Toulon–Hyères.

To celebrate the opening of the new base, that has the potential to support up to 50 airport jobs, the airline named one of its purple-branded Bombardier Q400 aircraft, the ‘Spirit of Bournemouth’. The plane naming breakfast was hosted jointly by Flybe CEO, Saad Hammad and Bournemouth Airport MD, Paul Knight.

Bournemouth passengers now have fast, easy access to a wide range of attractive leisure destinations plus a choice of city routes that offer day returns for business passengers. Flybe is expected to fly in the region of 300,000 passengers annually on these new Bournemouth routes.

The new twice daily Manchester service that started today forms a key part of the new schedule as it opens up an extensive choice of convenient, seamless, onward connections not only to the rest of the Flybe network but also to the rest of the world via Flybe’s codeshare partners when booked through a travel agent.

Flybe CEO, Saad Hammad, said:

"The opening of our new Bournemouth base marks yet another important milestone for Flybe. It enhances and extends our already established presence along the South Coast and is set to play a key role in growing and expanding further our regional connectivity. The added choice of routes is important not only for those travelling on business but also for those of our passengers travelling for leisure or when visiting family and friends. Having the choice of fast, convenient and affordable travel options from your local airport is something we consider a necessity, not a luxury. I’d like to add how heartened we are by the enthusiastic welcome we have received from the Manchester Airports Group, the local business community and tourism stakeholders. Their support has been tremendous and we are all working hard to ensure our new operation best serves the needs of the local community and delivers a significant boost to inbound tourism.”

Paul Knight, Managing Director at Bournemouth Airport added:

“The whole team at Bournemouth is absolutely delighted to welcome Flybe to the airport. The announcement is a clear indication of Flybe’s confidence and commitment in Bournemouth's standing as a key airport for the South West. Couple the job creation with the inbound tourism spend we’re likely to see, it clearly shows this base at Bournemouth is a positive economic driver for the whole region.”

Flybe started operating the first of its new routes from Bournemouth at the end of March with a double daily service to Glasgow. Bournemouth is a convenient starting point for those wanting to fly to the many attractive destinations now available with Flybe such as routes to Deauville, Toulon and Biarritz. It takes just under an hour to head over to fashionable Deauville on the Normandy coast that, affectionately known as the ‘Jewel of la Côte Fleurie’, was the favourite haunt of Napoleon - and of Coco Chanel! As well as a busy calendar of local events and a host of chic boutiques, visitors can enjoy the sea air on the Promenade des Planches, or take a day trip to the D-Day beaches.

Home to the World Surfing Championships, Biarritz has something for everyone and its mild climate makes it a popular year-round destination. Visitors are drawn to enjoy the beaches famed for its great surfing, golf, local food and craft markets and its historic elegance, from where the Pyrenees are visible on a clear day.

Visitors to Toulon can wander around and discover all the attractions of the historic port that is located around a rocky bay on the Mediterranean coast. The harbour is crowned with ancient fortifications and is a short walk from the old town, a pedestrian area with narrow streets, small squares, numerous fountains and the much-celebrated Toulon Cathedral. The area is also home to the celebrated Provençal market which takes place every morning on the Cours Lafayette.

Flybe’s summer schedule from Bournemouth operates through to 24th October 2015, with one way fares from just £24.99 including taxes and charges. Full details available at


Issued by the Flybe press office:
T: 0845 675 0681
E: [email protected]

Notes to editors

Ian Girling, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, commented:

“The new routes that Flybe are operating from Bournemouth airport offer businesses tremendous opportunities through easy access to key business destinations both in the UK and central Europe. The development of both domestic and international markets offers businesses real opportunities for growth and working with Flybe, Dorset Chamber will be active in helping our business community make the most from this exciting development. We also really need to get behind promoting Dorset as an international destination and these new routes offer a great opportunity for increasing inbound tourism to the area.”

Mark Smith, Director of Bournemouth Tourism said:

“We’re absolutely delighted about Flybe’s new base opening at Bournemouth airport. It’s a real boost for the town as it works brilliantly for all our main markets – leisure, business and international education.

“From a leisure point of view, Bournemouth is now a gateway to the whole of the South West and Dorset, and people can access the award winning beaches and range of international events more easily than ever before. For the business market, Flybe’s base opening makes Bournemouth much more attractive for international conferences, especially those from Europe, and with that comes potential for lots of new business for the town."

“As for international education, Bournemouth is the UK’s largest centre outside of London, and the new routes from Manchester, Amsterdam and Paris with their links to the rest of the world will help further develop this sector for us, which is already worth over £200m a year to the local economy.”

About Flybe:

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline – 178 routes serving 9 countries from 72 departure points, 37 UK/35 European airports* (all routes on sale May ’15 – Oct ‘15); operates more UK domestic flights than any other airline (UK CAA Apr ’14 – Mar ‘15); named top UK airline for punctuality in report issued by UK consumer watchdog Which? (Dec 2014); is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Belfast City, Birmingham, Exeter, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newquay and Southampton airports (UK CAA Mar ’15); operates fleet of 64 aircraft – 47 Bombardier Q400, 6 Embraer 195 & 11 E175; codeshares with BA, Air France, Etihad, KLM, Finnair, Aer Lingus and Cathay Pacific; has two franchise partners, Loganair and Stobart Air; has own globally recognised Training Academy in Exeter with flight deck and cabin crew simulator facilities, 26 classrooms and 150-seat conference facility.

* Flown under the Flybe brand (27 routes/11 airports exclusively served by Flybe’s franchise partner, Loganair: and four routes and four airports exclusively operated by franchise partner, Stobart Air)