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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)

  • C77 says:

    I was quite impressed with Blue Islands when I flew them a few years ago SOU-GCI return. Fast track security for every passenger (although with the demise of BE at SOU this probably isn’t important anymore). They also had their own ‘lounge’ airside at GCI which was a nice touch. Effectively a glassed in pen in departures accessed by an entry code printed on your boarding pass. It wasn’t manned but featured dedicated seating for Blue Islands passengers as well as complimentary tea, coffee and water – more than Aurigny and FlyBE passengers got. On board service featured complimentary soft drinks on a 45 minute flight. At £60 return it made for a really pleasant day trip.

    • memesweeper says:

      I also flew them once on this route, but with a much older Jetstream aircraft, and decided to avoid them in future.

      They are now ‘all ATR’, which is a substantial step up from that, and I hope a step up from the dash-8s Flybe were using.

      • Dwb1873 says:

        Very old ATRs – they’re a bit clapped out to be honest.

      • Dubious says:

        Dash-8Qs should be quiter than the ATR-72s.
        The Dash-8Qs also have front and rear embarcation/disembarkation, unlike the ATRs which only have a door at the rear.

        Dash-8s fly faster and higher, ATR-72s lower and slower but with a better fuel performance.

  • DANi says:

    The MAN SOU route timings are poor given that is largely a commuter route…lunchtime each way ..

    • Andrew says:

      I suspect that the GoJ funding will ensure that priority is given key peak diagrams.

      CI residents attend out and in patient appointments at Southampton University Hospital (paid for by the respective CI Governments), so peak morning arrivals are essential.

      If they can fill a plane off peak to help relieve Cross Country’s usual heavily loaded 4+ hour journey between Manchester and Southampton, then that’s a good thing.

  • Lady London says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to be a pilot on those little aircraft on those routes?

    • Hugh says:

      Not once you find out that Blue Islands are the lowest paying airline in the U.K.

      • Paul Pogba says:

        Offset by a lower rate of income tax if you’re resident on the islands though?

        • Dwb1873 says:

          Very high cost of living though which often cancels out the tax benefits for ‘normal’ earners.

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Absolutely- and much better paid than a flying instructor. ( ie me!)

      And better paid in the future than BA 747 pilots, or many Emirates ones, or 20% of United’s, or Thomas Cook or Flybe.

      Only better job would be Loganair or the air ambulance here in Scotland – much better scenery and more “interesting” weather 🙂

      • Lady London says:

        Yes I was thinking as a pilot on those you’d be earning your money, in bad weather. So not the BA bus driver kind of ride.

        And lots over water which as a passenger, means I’m a basket case. But would keep the day interesting for the pilot 🙂

  • ADS says:

    The SOU-DUB route appears to be 4x week – Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun

    These flights aren’t yet showing up on Skyscanner

  • John Murray says:

    Booked a few days in Jersey from EMA in October. I always enjoy a turboprop flight (yes, I even liked the Flybe Dash 8s..) as long as it’s no more than an hour or so! 😁

  • Fenny says:

    Birmingham to Jersey – finally a route that works for me 🙂

  • Alex M says:

    I wonder how much it costs to repaint an aircraft? I would think the price is substantial for a small airline…

  • Rob says:

    No, no Cardiff base. Might be a better one for Loganair.

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