Disruption for passengers
Flybe apologises as dozens of flights are cancelled
Flybe is considering closing some bases
Relaunched regional airline Flybe was facing a backlash from passengers after cancelling dozens of flights for “operational reasons”.
Departures from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Birmingham, Newcastle and Southampton were among those affected, prompting the airline to “sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused”.
In a statement it said: “All customers affected have been emailed and advised they can rebook for travel on an alternative flight or apply for a full refund.”
On Monday, passengers on a new route from Newquay to Heathrow were forced to take a six-hour coach journey after their flight was grounded.
Flybe cancelled about 5%, or 30 individual flights, blaming a number of issues, including pilots’ holidays and Easter holidays.
Amid speculation that Flybe would end operations at four airports the company said it will make the following changes:
• Exeter – Flybe will fly its last jets from the airport on 26 October. This will not affect turboprop flights or its “base structure” it said.
• Norwich – Jets will also stop flying from this airport at around the same time. This will not affect services at Norwich operated by Flybe’s franchise partner, Eastern Airways.
• Cardiff and Doncaster – Flybe will also stop flying jets from these two airports. It will close its servicing operations at the airports, but will offer turboprop flights
It has already said it will axe its route between Aberdeen and London City from 7 April.
Cardiff Airport boss Deb Barber said: “Flybe’s plan to restructure and reduce its jet operations across many bases is part of the company’s long-standing objective to stabilise the business.
“This is a further sign to UK government that more needs to be done to support regional flying; the uncertainty of Brexit, currency and fuel costs are all impacting on the industry. Air Passenger Duty (APD) presents an additional cost burden, especially with the ‘double hit’ on domestic services which make up the majority of the Flybe network.”
Today’s cancelled Aberdeen flights:
The affected Glasgow Airport flights:
The return flight from Belfast to Glasgow, due to arrive at Glasgow at 9.10am, was also cancelled.
10.45am Glasgow-East Midlands
The return flight from East Midlands to Glasgow, due to arrive at Glasgow at 1.30pm, was also cancelled.
The affected Edinburgh flights:
A number of Flybe flights to and from Edinburgh were delayed, including the 7am to Birmingham which did not take off until 8.35am.
An incoming flight from Bimingham to Edinburgh was delayed for more than an hour and a half and a flight from Cardiff to Edinburgh also arrived late.
Passengers whose flight is cancelled, or who suffer long delays, will probably be entitled to compensation of €250 (£213).
Anyone who misses a connecting flight should talk to the airline operating that second flight but consumer group Which? says they may have to make a claim for the cost of a new flight from their travel insurance.
The company was bought recently for £2.8 million by a consortium involving Virgin Atlantic, Southend Airport owner Stobart Group, and US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.