Stobart Group And Flybe Announce 5 Year Agreement
Stobart, the Infrastructure and Support Services group, announces that it has entered a franchising agreement with Flybe, Europe’s largest independent regional airline, to create a number of new services from London Southend Airport.
– The agreement will see two Flybe-branded aircraft based at Stobart Group’s London Southend Airport
– Stobart will use its airline investment, Stobart Air, to operate six new routes to Northern Europe and Benelux countries
– The new services are expected to carry over 200,000 passengers annually in 2015
The five year agreement will initially see two 72 seat ATR 500/600 aircraft based at Stobart’s London Southend Airport, with options to extend the franchise further in the future. The two planes, flying in Flybe livery, will serve six routes to Northern Europe and Benelux countries from 5 June 2014. The franchise is aiming to carry over 200,000 passengers to and from London Southend Airport annually in 2015. Tickets will go on sale from 3 April via Flybe.com.
The franchise agreement is the latest development for Stobart Group’s aviation operations, which include London Southend Airport, Carlisle Lake District Airport and Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann). It is a natural extension of Stobart Air’s successful franchising agreement with Aer Lingus. Flybe will be joining Easyjet and Aer Lingus Regional (operated by Stobart Air) who are already serving 16 routes into London Southend Airport.
The agreement will further strengthen the growth prospects for London Southend Airport, which has built capacity to handle up to five million passengers annually. Last year the airport saw a 57.1% increase on 2012 passenger numbers to 969,950 making it the fastest growing airport in Europe (according to Airline Network News & Analysis) and it was recently rated best UK airport in the Which? customer satisfaction survey.
Andrew Tinkler, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Group said:
“This agreement is a further step in our development of London Southend Airport and Stobart Air. It promises to be the start of an exciting relationship with Flybe, with scope to grow the partnership in the future. Stobart Air already operates a successful franchise agreement with Aer Lingus. We carry over 1.3 million passengers annually and 70,000 of those are going to and from London Southend Airport, offering them access to a transatlantic network via Dublin. Adding to the number of carriers and routes at London Southend Airport drives passenger volumes and contributes to cementing the airport as an established transport hub in the South East.”
Saad Hammad, Chief Executive Officer of Flybe said:
“We are delighted to be extending the Flybe brand further into the South-East. Today’s news is also further evidence of our commitment to providing true regional connectivity across the UK and we look forward to unveiling a major programme of new base and route development over the coming months.”