UK regional airlines: reborn Flybe will find a changed landscape
Two recent developments cast the spotlight on UK regional airlines (including the Channel Islands). These are an agreement in principle to a codeshare between Blue Islands and Aurigny Air Services, and an announcement that Flybe plans to relaunch this summer.
According to the CAPA Fleet Database, UK regional airlines have a total fleet of 107 passenger aircraft as at 27-Apr-2021 – only 12% of the overall total of 774 passenger aircraft. Regional airlines' share of UK fleet seats is even lower, at just 4%.
Nevertheless, regional operators have a higher share of their fleet in service (65%) than other airlines (47%), and reduced their active fleet less drastically in the first lockdown.
Flybe will find a changed regional airline landscape – codeshares have also begun between Blue Islands and Loganair, and between Eastern Airways and Aurigny Air Services, all of whom have entered previous Flybe routes – but its plans are a reminder of the dynamism in this sector.
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