Published on September 22nd, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer0
Stobart Air to Takeover FlyBe Isle of Man Base
UK-based regional airline Flybe will close its base on the Isle of Man and hand over services to Stobart Air. The airline, Europe’s largest regional operator, will withdraw its two De Havilland Dash 8 Q400s from the island in a phased handover between January and March. Earlier this year, FlyBe was taken over by Connect Airways, a consortium consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Aviation and Cyrus Capital Partners through its Luxembourg-based vehicle DLP Holdings. Virgin and Stobart each hold 30% of the capital with Cyrus holding the remaining 40%. Cyrus Capital had previously worked with the Virgin Group on the launch of its Virgin America airline and its subsequent sale to Alaska Airlines. The purchase of the operating assets of the Flybe Group was completed on 21st February 2019.
“Following a thorough review of its future fleet and network plans, Flybe has announced changes to its Isle of Man operations to be completed through a phased and managed program by the start of summer 2020,” the airline said in a statement.
Stobart Air will operate a network of short-haul routes from the island to several UK regional airports, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, using the more economically viable ATR 72-600. “Stobart Air is a successful ATR operator and these shorter routes are more suited to this type of aircraft” a spokesperson for the airline said.
The first ATR is scheduled to enter service on 5th January 2020, with a second arriving on 29th March when Stobart Air will assume full Isle of Man operations and continue to operate these routes. According to FlyBe, there will be no impact on customers.