Flybe has just announced its new brand, following its takeover by a Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air consortium.
And it is ….
This was my guess, and indeed much of the industry (the new holding company is called Connect Airways, after all). What I didn’t know is that there was a Russian mobile operator using this brand so it took a lot work to get hold of it!
I am the only media representative at the Flybe leadership conference in Exeter today where the new brand was announced. I am not allowed to report much of what is being discussed, for obvious reasons, but the new CEO Mark Anderson, who comes from Virgin Atlantic, has a sound plan for driving the company forward – and it is certainly not ‘pie in the sky’. There will also be a new loyalty scheme which will integrate with Virgin Flying Club, although the details of that have not yet been announced.
You will not see the new brand in action for a while. The new owners, sensibly, want to ensure that the business is fully on the right track.
When people see the Virgin brand they come with expectations and Flybe knows that it is not yet ready to meet them – but it should be soon. We are talking about punctuality (already much improved), aircraft cleanliness, clearer baggage rules, a loyalty programme etc, albeit it all within the confines of what can be done on a 78-seat Dash 8.
When the roll out starts, the last place you will see the new brand is on the outside of an aircraft. Painting aircraft takes time and reduces capacity, so you will see a new website, new signage etc before you see a red aircraft. Change is a coming though ….