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Where does Blue Islands fly?

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Regional airline Blue Islands has announced a major expansion, starting with Southampton and Exeter.

The collapse of Flybe earlier this year has led to expansion opportunities for the other small UK airlines – Loganair, Eastern and Blue Islands.

Whilst a handful of Flybe routes may be big enough for Ryanair and easyJet to operate, the vast majority are not economic unless you are using small turboprop aircraft.  Loganair, Eastern and Blue Islands are best placed to pick up this slack.

Blue Islands airline launches new Southampton routes

Eastern and Blue Islands were previously Flybe franchisees so it was relatively easy – once they had launched their own booking sites – to restart the routes they used to run.  They are now adding new routes which Flybe used to fly directly.

Blue Islands has been flying since 1999 under various brands although it has used Blue Islands since 2006.  It has 130 staff based across Jersey and Guernsey.

Last week the Government of Jersey announced a £10 million soft loan to Blue Islands.  The collapse of Flybe has exposed the risks of losing air connectivity and it intends to build up Blue Islands as a ‘national champion’.

Jersey is a small market, of course, so Blue Islands also intends to launch additional hubs.   The first is Southampton, where one 70-seat ATR72 will be permanently based.

From 31st August, it will fly:

Southampton – Jersey (daily, rising to double daily)

Southampton – Manchester (daily)

Southampton – Dublin (daily)

Southampton – Guernsey (double daily)

There will also be additional Jersey routes:

Bristol – Jersey (4x weekly from 3rd August, daily from September)

Exteter – Jersey (3 x weekly from 3rd September)

Birmingham – Jersey (4x weekly from 31st August)

East Midlands – Jersey (3x weekly from 29th September)

Exeter to Manchester will also launch on 31st August.

The airline has launched a new livery.  Here is the Flybe franchised version:

Blue Islands airline launches new Southampton routes

and here is the new independent livery:

Blue Islands airline launches new Southampton routes

The new Blue Islands website is here. At some point I will take a look at their new frequent flyer scheme, the Blue Skies Club.

(EDIT: Our review of Blue Skies Club is now live and can be found here.)

Comments (22)

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  • Ian says:

    Interesting that they’re going to compete with Eastern on Manchester To Southampton.

  • Lady London says:

    Blue Islands, Loganair and Eastern (and even KLM) …. this is where the government needs to put the money from re-assigning a fair % slots held by BA at Heathrow.

    Starting with public interest slots BA got when they took over BMI, and stopped running a number of routes but kept the slots. Then a general review of how slots are, and should be, assigned at LHR against support the UK commercially criteria, with a %, or revenue from them. to be allocated to airlines who do good works. Such as running niche regional support routes such as Loganair, Eastern, Blue Island and KLM.

    Too many regional airlines failed over the years so let:s funnell off money from the jewel routes to support providers who serve the regions or fulfil other criteria where a level of commercial support will make the difference.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Hard to disagree with any of that.

      The current system allows for all icing, no cake.

  • Sorry I am a realist! says:

    For airlines and airports, it makes no commercial sense to have 40 pax from GCI/JER rather than 400 pax from NYC. As Jersey/Guernsey are technically not part of UK (they are Bailliwicks) the case for access on social grounds does not exist. Only cities such as Inverness might argue they need access to a London airport on social grounds, but not if independence occurs.

    Take slots from BA and you destroy the hub, with out the hub, London and the UK loses routes as has been the case with destinations in China for instance.

    Let the market decide.

    And no I am not a BA employee!

    • Lady London says:

      I take your point @Sorry I am a… However regional routes cut both ways. Regardless of the technicalities there are some territories that have historical and commercial links to fhe UK, where transport is needed but not strictly viable commercially.

      In these I’d consider such as the Isle of Man, Sark, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, and anywhere on the East Coast (Scotland jncluded). Plus quite a few other regional routes where airlines have failed over the years and anywhere Loganajr flies :-). One end of the route may need it more than the i
      other but that’s the point of regional support.

      A review of slot allocation at LHR is overdue. Particularly the preponderance of slots held by BA. It may be that allocating BA/IAG even more slots than they have now, would be found to serve the UK’s needs better. But BA has many slots due to.historical privilege that they themselves have said is not dominant, against commercial consideration. So let’s do a review and look at where slots are best allocated to guve the UK a return that supports.continued provision of regional routes, and other UK aims.

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