Flybe will fly to only three destinations from Ronaldsway

Flybe cuts will hit Manx air travellers

Flybe cuts will hit Manx air travellers

Flybe will fly to only three destinations from the Isle of Man when its cuts are completed next year.

These are Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

The airline this week announced more cuts to routes, which came as another blow following the news that the airline’s base at Ronaldsway would close, with the loss of 49 jobs.

Click here to read the report in which we broke the news on Wednesday evening.

The airline will withdraw its four-times-daily service to Gatwick in March after it sold its slots at the London airport to budget airline easyJet.

Announcing its summer timetable (from March 30 to October 25), the airline said it would be withdrawing its routes to Bristol, Luton and Jersey.

It also listed Southampton as a summer route that was being withdrawn – even though it pulled the plug on that service back in July.

Direct flights to Gatwick also end in March after the airline sold its slots at the terminal to budget airline easyJet.

When Flybe closes its base at Ronaldsway, the island could lose its early morning flights.

Click here for a reminder of that report.

Flybe’s chief commercial officer Paul Simmons said: ‘We have taken a long hard look at all the routes we fly from the Isle of Man to make sure they are what our customers really want and that they operate at the best possible times for everyone.

‘The extent of our regional network means that no other airline has the regional and onward international connectivity offered by Flybe.’

Passengers affected by the changes are being contacted and offered, where possible, an alternative Flybe flight or a full refund on their ticket.

Meanwhile, government ministers are still hopeful that early morning and evening flights can be reinstated on the vital London City route operated by BA CityFlyer.

Economic Development Minister John Shimmin MHK told the Keys last week the department was engaged in ‘very productive discussions’ with BA CityFlyer to increase daily week-day services to London.

He said: ‘I and the Minister for Infrastructure remain optimistic that BA will restore its services of three flights to London City Monday to Friday, including an early flight and a late flight that allow business travellers to and from London to have a productive day of business meetings and return on the same day.’

Replying to a question from Peter Karran (Onchan, LibVan) on the action taken to ensure an effective and secure service to London for business users, he said it was hoped the details would be finalised and a public announcement made ‘well before the end of December’.

Flybe announced plans to close six regional bases as part of a cost-cutting plan which involves shedding 500 jobs and rationalising its route network.

Chief executive Saad Hammad said the airline needed to ‘shrink to grow’ having built up an ‘excessive cost base over the years’.

The island has endured a year of bad news about its air links.

- All links to Scotland have ended.

- Flybe is to pull out of London Gatwick in March next year, removing four flights a day from the airport.

- While EasyJet has increased its, the flights will be less frequent and at less convenient times.

- BA CityFlyer has reduced its London City service from three times a day to one.

- CityWing has pulled out of Leeds and Oxford.




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