Was Owl right about why Virgin bought Flybe? Yes!

Here is Owl’s theory:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/04/04/flybe-leaving-or-not-on-a-jet-plane/

and, in today’s Sunday Times its Chief Executive says:

“… Flybe will be profitable [for Virgin] … It has established slots at Heathrow and hundreds in Manchester. What will the rebranded carrier be called? “Virgin Something”. We have not made up our mind”. …”

Source: Sunday Times business supplement, page 6

Round One to Owl!

Flybe – leaving (or not) on a jet plane …..

Flybe has jet and propellor aircraft.
Flybe is now owned by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air.
Virgin is interested only in feeder traffic to its Manchester and Heathrow hubs.
Stobart has heavily invested in its Southend and Carlisle hubs.
Flybe is cutting all its jet flights from Exeter and several other regional airports in October 2019 and returning all jets to lease owners.
Flybe jet pilots will become redundant and Flybe’s Exeter airport traffic (and repair hub) will be decimated.
There is a worldwide shortage of jet pilots.
How many former Flybe jet pilots will later be employed by Virgin and Stobart on non-Flybe routes?

Would this scenario be an intended or unintended consequence of the decision?

More bad news on Flybe Exeter

“All Flybe jet flights are to end from Exeter Airport when its summer timetable finishes in October, airline bosses say.

The move, which is part of plans to cuts its fleet from 85 aircraft to between 70 and 75, will affect routes including Faro, Mallorca and Malaga.

The company apologised, blaming an industry-wide shortage of pilots for the delays, as well as its own pilots taking holidays.

The airline had also entered discussions over potential job losses, but it hoped to keep loyal employees “with Flybe”, airline chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener said.

She was speaking after the Exeter-based regional airline cancelled dozens of flights on Wednesday morning.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-47708796

“Flybe confirms ‘base restructuring’ amidst rumours all Exeter flights could be scrapped”

Owl says: what the hell is happening? One minute we are told of new routes (including Flybe) and the next the talk is of all Flybe routes being cancelled! Would the airport (into which DCC and EDDC are pouring money into for infrastructure improvements) then be viable?

“Exeter-based airline Flybe has confirmed it is undertaking a ‘base restructuring’ after reports this morning that all jet-plane flights from Exeter, Cardiff and Doncaster are to be scrapped.

In a statement on the reason 27 Flybe flights were cancelled this morning the airline confirmed that ‘base restructuring’ is part of the reason.Pilots and cabin crews are believed to have been called into meetings since 4am this morning to be told the news, which has added to the delays.

According to UK Aviation News pilots have been told the decisions comes after a “critical review of the business performance”.

If true it means jet flights will cease operating from Exeter this summer, leaving the company to operate just Dash 8 Q400 planes – the type that makes shorter journeys such as Exeter to London.

Flybe this morning confirmed ‘base restructuring’ was under way, and said that is part of the reason a number of flights were cancelled on Wednesday.

UK Aviation News says the move could be ‘potentially devastating’ for Exeter Airport. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/flybe-confirms-base-restructuring-could-2715437

To Flybe or not to Flybe, that is the question

“Regional airline Flybe has cancelled dozens of flights on Wednesday morning for what it describes as “operational reasons”.

Five flights from Belfast City Airport and four from Birmingham are among those affected, along with departures from Southampton, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

Most of the flights are within the UK.

The airline said it would like to “sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused”….

… On Monday, Flybe passengers on a new route were left with a six-hour coach journey when their aircraft was grounded.

The 18:40 service from Newquay to Heathrow could not take off on Sunday because of a “technical issue”.

Cornwall Airport Newquay said passengers were offered “rebooking for another flight or ground transport to London Heathrow”. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47797738

“Flybe completes sale to Virgin-led consortium for £2.8m”

“Exeter-based regional airline Flybe has been bought by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic.

Connect Airways, which consists of Virgin, Stobart Air and Cyrus Capital, paid £2.8m for the airline on Friday.

It now means that flights currently operated by Flybe will soon be taking off under the Virgin brand.

Cyrus Capital now own 40 per cent of the Exeter-based airline, with Virgin and Stobart acquiring a 30 per cent stake each.

Flybe tweeted about the takeover on Friday night: “Today’s confirmation of the sale of Flybe to Connect Airways secures an exciting future for our customers & employees as we continue to provide vital regional connectivity in the UK & beyond. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/flybe-completes-sale-virgin-led-2571675

Flybe rejects second bid as too late

“Troubled Exeter-based regional airline Flybe has snubbed a rival rescue proposal from investors including US airline Mesa Air Group and backed by former Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler.

Shares in Flybe more than doubled to 2.9p as it confirmed the “highly conditional” approach from a consortium including Mesa Airlines of Arizona and South African hedge fund Bateleur Capital.

But Flybe said it “does not believe that the indicative proposal is executable in the timeframe required to enable Flybe to continue to trade”.

It added it continues to back the existing takeover by the Connect Airways consortium – which consists of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and investment firm Cyrus Capital – as the “only viable option available to the company which provides the security that the business needs to continue to trade successfully”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-47226619