Back in the Autumn statement, the Government announced a £7m plan to fund 11 new regional air routes that will start during 2016
The Regional Air Connectivity Fund – which, you would think, is the sort of thing which would have been scrapped rather than created during a period of spending cuts – is
blowing investing taxpayers money in 11 new air routes.
In my experience, airlines are not short of a willingness to give new routes a try using their own money. After all, as long as they have the aircraft, the fixed costs involved in starting a route are not huge.
These are the 11 routes which you will be financing for the first three years of their life:
Dundee to Amsterdam (Flybe) (think of all those stag weekends you are funding for the good people of Dundee)
Derry to Dublin (Citywings)
Carlisle to Belfast (Stobart Air)
Carlisle to Dublin (Stobart Air)
Carlisle to Southend (Stobart Air)
Norwich to Exeter (Flybe)
Norwich to Newcastle (Linksair)
Oxford to Edinburgh (Linksair)
Southampton Southend to Lyon (Flybe, rationale being ….?!)
Southampton Southend to Munich (Flybe, ditto)
Newquay to Leeds-Bradford (Flybe)
Oxford to Edinburgh, two incredibly poor cities, will obviously benefit hugely from this subsidised connection. In terms of pure genius, however, Carlisle to Southend must be the winner:
Who is flying the route? Stobart Air
Who owns Southend Airport? Stobart Air
Who owns Carlisle Airport? Stobart Air
Triples all round, as Private Eye would say. You can further details on the gov.uk website.
The vague relevance of this to HFP is, of course, that you will be able to earn and spend Avios points on Southampton to Lyon, Southampton to Munich, Norwich to Exeter, Dundee to Amsterdam and Newquay to Leeds-Bradford due to the tie-up between Avios and Flybe!
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)