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-   -   Flybe-V1 (https://www.pprune.org/airlines-airports-routes/637085-flybe-v1.html)

oldlag53 12th Feb 2021 14:21

Just a bit of history for those interested. I understand that lots of people blame JF for starting the rot and certainly his salary compared to WW's at the time was ridiculous. However, I first knew him way back in 1988 at Air UK when he was a terrific boss (he was sales and marketing director), he knew how to form a loyal and motivated team around him. Even then though, there were strange signs - one of my responsibilities was producing a paper timetable (no internet!), and one day he called me into his office. We then sat there for the afternoon with him fiddling around with the fleet using a piece of paper, a pencil and an eraser! Even then I knew that this was not the right way to set up your route network.

Eventually the dreaded company politics intervened and he got shafted. A few months later he popped up at JEA as sales and marketing director. Having been shafted myself some years later, I ended up at JEA too with a number of Air UK refugees. But the atmosphere had changed - his word was law, no real discussion, and all the key decisions were made by him alone. The thread has mentioned LCY ops - well I was called to a meeting to discuss starting up there. I was there because I had had direct experience of marketing LCY routes at Air UK some years earlier. He asked my opinion and I gave what I thought was a well-reasoned talk on why it very definitely was not a good idea to start LCY ops.

A few days later it was announced that we were going to LCY! I was amazed, wondering why I had been invited to the meeting in the first place. Shortly before I left (got pushed out really) we were faffing around for a new name, which was urgently required. After discussions with BA we became British European Airways. For my sins I wangled the code BEE out of ? IATA (can't remember). After that it evolved into the absolutely awful Flybe. I had left by that time. After some manoeuvrings JF became MD, then CEO, etc. The reason for the airline starting to go down the chute was just hubris - the usual emotion that hits people when they get into an undisputed leader position.

Looking from a distance (I'm now retired) it's all very sad. Just one bonkers decision after another, with no pushback from anybody. The board were toothless as well, consisting mainly of Walker accountants and beancounters with not a clue how to run an airline. And of course, as usual, it's the hardworking and loyal staff who are the losers while the top dogs walk away with a bunch of money...

RVF750 13th Feb 2021 13:12

Ah, the Walker Accountants.....happy memories (not). All those shell companies leasing aircraft back to Flybe to squeeze as much money out as possible before any tax was paid. Any time they were still likely to make a profit they loaned it out to the directors instead. Worked ok until the kids wanted to sell the airline...

Whispering Giant 18th Feb 2021 07:01

Flybe Mk2 first aircraft arrived at Exeter last night from Zagreb DH8D G-CLXC a former Austrian airways aircraft formerly OE-LGA a 21 year old veteran.

virginblue 18th Feb 2021 07:50

What is it doing at Exeter?

I have not followed the developments, but was under the impression that all of Flybe Mk. I infrastructure at Exeter has changed hands and is no longer available for a resurrected Flybe. Is it mainly the availability of personnel that has not moved on to go for Exeter again (instead of, say, Birmingham)?

EGTE 18th Feb 2021 08:49

Maybe it is at Exeter for maintenance by Exeter Aerospace?
They have their Dash 8 approvals now - and a large pool of experienced engineers.

Albert Hall 18th Feb 2021 09:18

You do have to wonder about the timing of all of this. Press report here doesn't exactly make for encouraging reading.

Dorking 18th Feb 2021 09:39

There does seem to be what you might call a `Bigger Picture` going on here..We`ll find out in time.

JobsaGoodun 18th Feb 2021 09:49

Wouldn't a re-launch that offers additional connectivity in a post Brexit environment, just as the country/world begins to unlock and rebound from the pandemic be the perfect time for a new carrier to emerge?

Whilst I agree that the pandemic has very likely changed markets forever, businesses are used to constantly adjusting and adapting to the market. Loganair, Eastern, Blue Islands & Stobart all took the opportunity to adjust their networks following the failure of Flybe in March '20.

Of course there will always be the argument of what is/isn't 'fair' and I get this. Existing carriers have been battered by the pandemic and no sooner does the chance to recover emerge they have the prospect of a new opponent to contend with, but surely it should be every businesses goal to take advantage of an opportunity and I guess Thyme OpCo are seeking to do just that. I'm not surprised by the remarks of the Loganair CEO, after all he's just trying to protect a business that is likely the most exposed to any new entrant into the domestic UK market.

Albert Hall 18th Feb 2021 10:40

I suppose if it did offer additional connectivity, you could understand it rather better. But where the airlines above plus easyJet, Aurigny, KLM, BA CityFlyer and even Jet2 have filled the gaps left after Flybe, I can't really see that the "additional connectivity" argument holds water. Additional capacity - yes absolutely. Additional connectivity though? There's not a lot left uncovered now.

ETOPS 19th Feb 2021 06:51

There's not a lot left uncovered now.
Birmingham to Brussels?

davidjohnson6 19th Feb 2021 07:08

I'm wondering if Flybe v2 with a few Dash 8 aircraft would have potentially lower CASM than (for example) Eastern or Loganair and thus be able to reclaim some of their former trunk routes. As an example, if Flybe reappear with a Dash 8 on SOU-EDI or SOU-GLA, up against a Loganair E145, who would win ?

simoncorbett 19th Feb 2021 07:49

There are many destinations from Birmingham not currently operated by anyone since Flybe stopped
such as ...Milan Stuttgart Hamburg Hannover BerlinToulouse Nantes & lots of regional France plus Newquay Knock Dundee & more

CabinCrewe 19th Feb 2021 07:55

Most of which are long shots and probably valid reason noone going near them

ATNotts 19th Feb 2021 08:03

While many could be said to be long shots, some in @simoncorbett posting are clearly far less marginal, among them Stuttgart, Milan, Hamburg, Hanover, Berlin, from a business perspective and perhaps a couple of the "ex-pat / holiday home" French destinations on a seasonal basis. I'm sure the same applies equally from MAN and SOU.

Then on the domestic front, EasyJet offering 2 x daily service from EDI / GLA is hardly business friendly, and there must be an opportunity for multi-daily frequencies on these routes. BHD is a route that has already gone to EIR.

I don't doubt there is room for a very much slimmed down, more cautious "FlyBe2", but almost certainly branded completely differently. Prudence will be the key word if they are to succeed.

SKOJB 19th Feb 2021 08:22

Any so called ‘business routes’ I’m sure are currently being treated with caution for obvious reasons!

ATNotts 19th Feb 2021 08:37

For sure, business travel is probably not going to get back to pre-pandemic levels any time soon, as businesses have found more cost effective ways of holding meetings than taking day trips by air, road or rail, but there will be a market - perhaps BHX / GLA might require a 4/5 daily service, rather than up to 10 which really probably was overkill even pre-covid.

anothertyke 19th Feb 2021 10:59

It will be interesting to see what the Union Connectivity Review says about domestic. Will they see a broader role for PSO or will they see the arguments very much as before? What about domestic APD? Is there a case for putting anything into the likes of BHX-GLA or is it up to the business community to sort themselves out if such routes will not work on a pure commercial basis? Sorry, this is a broader issue than one airline, more about the market environment for all of them.

ATNotts 19th Feb 2021 11:40

Not a chance, PSOs are probably going to become as rare as hens teeth where there are land based alternatives such as rail. It looks as though environmental considerations may become more the fore post pandemic.

willy wombat 19th Feb 2021 12:29

The trouble with the concept of letting EZY operate the morning and evening flights on, for example, BHX to EDI/GLA is that the early morning and evening flights on such a route are the big money flights and the off peak flights much less so. And you’ll struggle to attract a leisure market to the mid day flights when EZY are also on the route. Operating different gauge by time of day only works when one carrier has overall commercial responsibility.

Skipness One Foxtrot 19th Feb 2021 15:10


When was BHX-GLA ever commercially sustainable at 10 x daily? Even BA were 4-5 max at the peak of the Eurohub feed.

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