Thread: Flybe-9
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Old 23rd Nov 2018, 03:58
  #1082 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 2,536
I remain unconvinced that Flybe is of real interest to Virgin. Yes there are connectivity opportunities at Manchester, but beyond that I cannot see anything more that would justufy taking on the scale and challenges that exist at Flybe. Also, I don't believe that Virgin by way of Delta would be acting on behalf of AFKLM, I just don't see them as so joined up.

​​​​​​IAG is not going to be remotely interested in Flybe, the only item of real value is a small batch of LHR slots, which would most likely have to be surrendered to allay competition concerns.

I still believe that the best strategic fit for a sustainable Flybe as a very large regional airline is to reposition itself into the ACMI space in the following form;
  • Prune the scheduled network focussing on currently profitable routes, e.g. I'm guessing strongholds like SOU and BHX that for many markets are exclusive to Flybe
  • Get out of the way of LoCo's
  • More significantly go after ACMI contracts, this EU market is untapped compared to say the US. Cityjet are early adopters in this space. It is early days in this space, so I believe Flybe given their extensive experience could succeed here.
They need a financial backer who shareds this view. Stobart is the fit here. They've already shown with the BACF contract that they have intent in this space. They could work closely with Virgin at the connected airports like MAN, through a Virgin ACMI. And the Dublin routes (SOU, CWL, EXT, DSA) going into Aer Lingus Regional could help to secure the Aer Lingus Regional contract beyond 2022/3, which will be hotly contested by Cityjet. LCY ops rebrand BA under a Stobart ACMI.

Stobart potentially has the largest opportunity here.

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