Flybe Says No Cancellations, Pulls Jet Services

April 3, 2019

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UK regional airline Flybe said it has put in place contingency plans to keep future disruptions to a minimum after Wednesday's flight cancellations.

The carrier said the problem was due to a combination of factors including seasonality, the end of the pilot leave year, Easter holidays, base restructuring and a shortage of pilots. It doesn't expect any cancellations for Thursday.

Flybe Says No Cancellations, Pulls Jet Services
Bombardier Q400s will replace Flybe's Embraer E195s.

Flybe also announced that it would stop jet service at four regional UK airports, but said the decision was part of a review and not related to the flight cancellations.

The changes affect jet flights at Cardiff, Doncaster, Exeter and Norwich airports and will take effect after the summer travel season.

The base review is part of a company strategy to reduce aircraft numbers and simplify its fleet. It will return all of its 118-seat Embraer E195s to lessors, with six to go this financial year. The Embraers will be replaced by existing Bombardier Q400 turboprops.

“Our fleet reduction has always been core to improving our profitability,” Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmières-Widener said. “We remain fully committed to Exeter, Cardiff and Doncaster airports and will continue to offer a comprehensive choice of regional and European destinations operated by our 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft.”

Jet service at the four airports will cease from the start of the 2019-20 winter flight schedule. The last Exeter E195 flight will be on Saturday October 26, but Q400 operations will continue there.

Norwich also loses jet flights from the start of the winter schedule. Services operated by Flybe’s franchise partner Eastern Airways are not affected by the changes.

Flybe bases at Cardiff and Doncaster airports will close at the end of the summer schedule, but flights will still be available at the two airports, operated by Q400s and crew flying from other bases.