G-FBJH E-175 in the current livery at Birmingham, UK. Notice the Biman DC-10 in the background – Photo: Ken Fielding
FlyBe, based at Exeter, Devon, in the UK is Europeâ€™s largest regional airline.Â It was born as Jersey European Airways out of a merger between Jersey, Channel Islands-based Intra Airways and Bournemouth, UK-based Express Air Services in November, 1979, and established a network of services out of the Channel Islands, mainly to other UK points.
In June 2000, the airline cheekily renamed itself â€˜British Europeanâ€™, using the ex-British European Airways (BEA – now British Airways) flight prefix code â€˜BEâ€™, rebranding as â€˜FlyBeâ€™ in July, 2002.Â In November 2006, FlyBe expanded again by buying the British Airways’ regional group, â€˜BA Connectâ€™ (apart from their services out of London City Airport, which are operated by BA CityFlyer), with part of the payment to BA being a 15% stock transfer.
At the start of 2008, FlyBe signed a franchise agreement with Scottish-based airline Loganair.Â This agreement became effective when their franchise agreement with British Airways was terminated the following October.Â Loganairâ€™s aircraft now operate in FlyBeâ€™s colors on over 50 routes out of Scottish airports including the â€˜Highlands & Islandsâ€™ services.
An overview shot of the Paris Air Show. Photo by Jason Rabinowitz / Airchive.com.
As expected, the Paris Air Show 2013 started off with announcements from aircraft manufacturers and airlines. Here’s just some of what happened on Monday & Tuesday:
- Embraer officially launched their next-generation E-Jets, to be called E-Jets E2, with two significant orders. US Regional SkyWest Airlines ordered 100 of the 80-seat E-175 E2 jets, and have purchase rights for another 100 planes. Â Mega-leasing company International Leasing Finance Company (ILFC) signed a Letter of Intent to purchase 25 each of the E-190 E2 and E-195 E2 jets. Â They have options to double the order. Â SkyWest is the launch airline, and will get their new E-175 E2s in 2020. Â The E-190 E2 will be delivered much earlier, starting in 2018.
- Bombardier Aerospace announced that a previously-confirmed order for 10 CS100s is held by Odyssey Airlines, which plans to operate from the 4,900 ft runway at London City Centre Airport. (LCY).
There are going to be a lot more Delta widgets seen at LGA soon.
Recently, Delta Air Lines announced their game plan to expand at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) after their slot swap with US Airways. Delta, being the world’s second largest airline, has plenty that they can bring to the New York area and grow LGA into a major hub for business travelers.
If you scroll through the new Delta LGA flights, you will see a lot of smaller aircraft: theÂ Embraer ERJ-145, E-170, E-175, Bombardier CRJ-700, CRJ-900 and the CRJ-200. With an airport that is already so crowded, it was a little surprising seeing so many small aircraft.
Just because a new route starts as a smaller aircraft, doesn’t mean that Delta can’t upgrade to a larger aircraft later. Still, it seems like some of the routes might be able to handle larger aircraft, why did Delta go this route?
“Itâ€™s purely a function of having the right aircraft for the right market,” Morgan Durrant, Delta Spokesperson explained to AirlineReporter.com. “LaGuardia is arguably the most restricted airfield in the world but that doesnâ€™t preclude the market demand for both capacity and frequency. Utilizing regional aircraft in some markets allows us to achieve both in a way thatâ€™s good for customers and good for business.”
At least Delta is operating jets; US Airways Express (aka Piedmont) flew quite a fewÂ turbo-propsÂ in LGA. For the airline nerd (that many of us probably are), turbo-props are fun to fly in, but I know that most travelers do not share our passion for aviation and most prefer the comfort of a jet. And remember, that not all regional jets are created equally. Many of Delta’s jets that have more the 50 Â seats contain amenities found on larger aircraft.
“Delta Connection aircraft larger than 50 seats will have a two-cabin configuration and Gogo Wi-Fi,” Durrant stated.
Delta has more connections and are arguably using better aircraft, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they are able to become quite successful out of LGA. I also wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing larger planes operating in Delta colors in the future out of LaGuardia as well.
Two view points you have to read about this topic are: Brett Snyder looking at the winners and losers of this deal and Dan Webb looking at the new destinations.
Photo by: Jerome Vorus