Flybe and Stobart Air sign franchise deal for Southend services

Flybe has reached agreement with Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann) for a five-year franchising agreement to create a number of new services from London Southend Airport.

For Flybe, the agreement builds on its experience as a franchisor, most notably with Loganair which has 17 aircraft operating in Flybe colours.

The new agreement will see two Flybe-branded ATR 72s based at Stobart Group’s London Southend Airport, operated by Stobart Air, initially on six new routes to Northern Europe and the Benelux countries. The franchise agreement has been structured to accommodate additional aircraft and routes if required.

The franchise operation will begin on 5 June. It is estimated that passenger numbers on the six routes will increase to approximately 200,000 a year in 2015.

Saad Hammad, chief executive officer of Flybe, commented, “We are delighted to be extending the Flybe brand further into the UK southeast. This news is also further evidence of our commitment to providing true regional connectivity across the UK and we look forward to unveiling a major programme of new base and route development over the coming months.”

Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of Stobart Group, added, “This agreement represents an exciting expansion of our relationship with Flybe. London Southend Airport is an ideal access point for Flybe customers travelling to and from London and the southeast [of the UK] and we look forward to welcoming them.”

Photo (courtesy Wikipedia/Arz) shows a Flybe Nordic ATR similar to those which will be operated by Stobart Air on Flybe’s behalf.

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