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Flybe announces its first Summer flight schedule under Virgin Atlantic ownership

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Flybe has launched its Summer schedule for 2020, which will be the first to reflect its new focus under Virgin Atlantic ownership.  Seven new routes have been announced.

Having attended the Virgin Connect (as Flybe will be rebranded) launch event last month, I can confirm that the new management team is very focused on returning the airline to profitability.  Part of this was to be a razor-sharp focus on routes where it believes it can make money over the long term.

The biggest changes will be at London Southend Airport.  Perhaps not coincidentally, Southend is owned by Stobart Group which is also a shareholder in Flybe.

Six new routes will be launched from Southend to Belfast City, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Isle of Man and Jersey.  Existing services from Southend to Caen, Groningen, Newquay and Rennes will continue.  Loganair immediately responded by announcing plans to drop its own Southend to Glasgow service.

The only other brand new route is Manchester to Stuttgart.  Growth elsewhere is focused on increasing frequency on core business routes from Manchester and Southampton as well as retiming flights to better fit around the working day.

The BBC is reporting, however, that Southampton Airport is due to see substantial cuts overall.  Routes to Faro, Palma, Alicante, Malaga, Biarritz, Nantes, Bordeaux, Dusseldorf and Bastia will be dropped.  Flybe is the dominant carrier at the airport and this will cause it substantial difficulties unless new carriers come in.

With the exception of Dusseldorf, the Southampton changes seem to be in line with Flybe’s new approach.  It will be reducing its focus on holiday routes in order to concentrate on business and ‘visiting friends and family’ services.

Flybe has said that there will be more announcements to come so we can expect additional services to be announced over the coming months.

Tickets are now on sale at for the Summer season, which runs until late October.

Comments (194)

  • Harry T says:

    Anyone know if you can pay off Plan 1 Student Loans from SLC with Curve card or a rewards credit card?

    • Nadeshka says:

      Unless something has changed, I successfully did so in December last year.

      • Nadeshka says:

        To clarify it was curve linked to my virgin rewards card, and there weren’t any additional charges (at least not that I saw).

        • Harry T says:


          • BJ says:

            Monese? Too much hassle, or cold feet now? If you have never self-referred on amex then that’s obviously not a concern.

          • Harry T says:

            Good thought! I’ve self referred a couple of times, so probably in the naughty books! I’d be more concerned if they took umbrage with referring your partner multiple times, to be fair.

          • BJ says:

            Everybody has referred their partner and their granny multiple times, don’t really see them coming after us for that. Sane choice as many, we either play it straight from here in, or just go for broke if we think we’rd had it anyway. With a partner to refer, the first option is obviously the most sensible.

          • Harry T says:

            Agreed – referring my partner probably makes more sense, though not as efficient/lucrative as self referrals plus partner referrals. But most of the other rewards cards in the UK are awful, so probably best to keep in Amex’s good books.

  • will says:

    Ref: BA houshold accounts.

    If I want to spend a particular persons avios, not pro rate split it over the entire household, whats the best method to do so post

    I used to just transfer out to avios, make the booking and then transfer back. Is Iberia the best route or are there other options as I have a member who doesn’t have an iberia account and I believe you cant make transfers until the Iberia account is 6 months old.

    • Shoestring says:

      we’re not living in 2019 PA (post – it’s alive & well – but now used for AerClub and Vueling, so sign up to an AerClub account and you can do the same as before

  • Hg333 says:

    One of those questions that always gets asked…do I need to pay for a car rental with my AMEX Plat in order to get all the insurance benefits (excess cover, etc.)? If so, I’ve paid a deposit for it on another card – would this influence in anyway? Car rental in Oman, any additional considerations?

    I know AMEX seems to sneakily change their T&Cs every now and then – any input appreciated.



    • Rob says:

      No requirement to pay with Amex. However, it makes it easier to process claims as they can easily see the damage charge and refund it.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      100% no on a UK Plat card, not so for non UK Plat cards – UK is an anomaly, I had a claim in Canada, and the guy at rental returns even mentioned it, but Amex paid out fine. I didn’t even have to pay upfront, Amex settled with the rental co directly (I assume that’s purely dependent on the company though).

      • guesswho2000 says:

        Claim on a UK card as a non-UK resident too, for clarity – if you’re on a weird itinerary, the insurers want proof you came from your country of residence and returned to the same one – in my case, I flew from Aus to Japan, and from HK to Aus, they weren’t interested in how I got to Canada, or that I didn’t live in the UK, I was very impressed with them actually as an insurance company.

  • Kerry says:

    The BA Schiphol lounge is probably the worst in the system – I have been repeatedly rejected from there (as a gold BAEC member) due to lack of capacity; effectively lounge access is not possible at busy times of the day unless you show up very early, which is a disgrace. I can’t possibly imagine how they could accept priority pass guests as well since they already turn away their own elites. What a joke.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Agree, although if you think BA’s AMS lounge is bad now, you should have seen it pre-refurb (around 2013/14 IIRC) – it was probably the worst in the world, stale sandwiches and Baileys was about it.

  • Anna says:

    OT – following on from yesterday’s review of PremiAir at MAN, the website is now giving a price of £83 for 2 weeks’ parking on top of the lounge fee; this is actually a major bargain given that faffing around using MAN’s Jet Parks would cost over £100 for the same dates. I think I’m going to go for it – it’s just after my OH’s 50th and the holiday is coming in well under budget so far thanks to RFS and a hefty timeshare members’ discount on our rented accommodation.

    • Anna says:

      Rob – do you know how early you’re allowed to arrive? I know part of the attraction is being able to arrive later than usual but our flight isn’t till 2 pm and I do love a champagne breakfast to start off my holidays!

      • Rob says:

        3 hours according to the email I was sent when I booked. If you have baggage there is a 2 hour cut-off.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Hmm Min 2 hrs with baggage (i.e. consierably worse than the terminal? … and max 3 hours. A strict one hour arrival window isn’t exactly premium given they’re claiming to increase convenience and flexibility for business users….

          • Anna says:

            They must not want HFP readers turning up 8 hours early to sample all the menus and drinks offerings!

          • Rob says:

            That’s because they need to take your bag to the terminal though!

  • Boi says:

    OT: I have never done balance transfer before but exploring: so my bill on virgin is £9200. I have an offer on horizon of 3.9% pa interest and zero transfer fees. 1. How can I use this for max benefit? 2. Would I get the 0.5% cash back for the transferred amount?

    (Ps I can pay the £9200 bill in full)

    • Anna says:

      Just be aware that a lot of card providers will charge interest on any purchases you make on the card if you have a transferred balance outstanding, I was absolutely livid to get caught out with this with Lloyds who tuck this away in their Ts and Cs so you don’t realise until you get the first month’s statement after the transfer. So the general rule now is, don’t make any purchases with a card until you have paid off any transferred balance.

  • BS says:

    OT: Can you use reward flight savers on connections to long-haul? I am aiming to do LHR – JNB, and then JNB – LUN.

    When I do the flights separately the JNB – LUN flights price up successfully, but when I do it as one through booking, the full (ludicrous) taxes/charges are used for the JNB-LUN flight. I could get round this by doing two bookings, but then I couldn’t check bags through… The difference is about £150.

    If I should be able to do this there any evidence RFS can be used as a connection to long-haul on the BA website anywhere to show the CS agent?

  • Nick_C says:

    OT – Qantas non stop to Sydney – reporter Luke Jones said on the BBC News Channel earlier that Qantas are looking to charge a 30% premium for non stop services!

    His report (not including that comment) at

    • marcw says:

      All non-stop routes are charged higher than one-stop.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Not exactly worth an exclamation mark? The London->Perth service runs at a premium to comparable tickets 1-stop tickets of 25-50% depending on how you work it, which is fair enough.
      More choice – having the choice of whether to pay more to get there faster or not – has to be a good thing?

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