UK regional airlines Flybe & Loganair kiss & make up with codeshare

Premium Analysis

In Oct-2019 the UK's two largest regional airlines Flybe and Loganair began a new codeshare agreement. Flybe, also Europe's largest independent regional airline, and Loganair, the largest airline on routes within Scotland, overlap at 14 airports this winter, but on only one route. The new partnership focuses on their networks at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Manchester.

The agreement also marks a renewing of cooperation between the two, albeit in a more equal manner, following the termination of a franchise arrangement in 2016 under which Loganair operated under Flybe's code and brand. Since emerging from that relationship, Loganair has grown rapidly.

By contrast, Flybe has been reducing its fleet and capacity since 2017, while enduring a number of years of losses. Flybe was acquired by a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and the investment firm Cyrus Capital earlier this year and will rebrand as Virgin Connect in 2020. The codeshare with Loganair is another stage in Flybe's ongoing strategy of building commercial partnerships with a number of airlines.

For Loganair, the new agreement is another stage in its development as an independent regional airline, ironically a development that began with the ending of its previous relationship with Flybe.

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