Flybe Appoints New CEO As It Launches Flights From Heathrow

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20-Dec-2016 Flybe Group PLC on Tuesday said it has appointed Christine Ourmieres-Widener as its new chief executive, as it announced the launch of two new routes between Scotland and London Heathrow airport.

According to the European regional airline, Ourmieres-Widener has spent her entire career in the aviation and travel industries, beginning her career at Air France, before becoming CEO of low-cost European airline Cityjet and later chief global sales officer for American Express Global Business Travel.

Simon Laffin, who has been taking on CEO responsibilities as executive chairman, will return to his previous role of non-executive chairman of Flybe when Ourmieres-Widener joins on January 16.

"We are delighted that Christine is joining Flybe at what a very exciting time for the company, as we transition to become an increasingly customer-driven business. Christine brings extensive experience of aviation and travel, as well as deep knowledge of the UK regional aviation market, which will be extremely valuable to Flybe. I very much look forward to working with her," Laffin said.

In a separate statement, Flybe said it will head to London Heathrow for the first time next year to connect the airport with Aberdeen and Edinburgh through the launch of more than 40 new flights a week.

According to Flybe, it will operate the slots which became available following the acquisition of regional airline BMI by British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines Group in 2012.

Flybe is not required to pay to use the slots, other than to meet Heathrow landing and passenger charges.

Following the launch in March, Flybe will operate up to 18 flights a day between London and Edinburgh and 10 between London and Aberdeen.

"We are delighted to announce our first flights to London Heathrow, significantly enhancing our UK domestic route network and offering even better links between Scotland and London. The new routes to Heathrow complement the existing ones we operate to London City, and will benefit our business customers and customers in Scotland who want to connect with our long haul codeshare partners," Laffin said.