FlyBe, based at Exeter, Devon, in the UK is Europe’s largest regional airline. 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 ‘British European’, using the ex-British European Airways (BEA – now British Airways) flight prefix code ‘BE’, rebranding as ‘FlyBe’ in July, 2002. In November 2006, FlyBe expanded again by buying the British Airways’ regional group, ‘BA Connect’ (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. This agreement became effective when their franchise agreement with British Airways was terminated the following October. Loganair’s aircraft now operate in FlyBe’s colors on over 50 routes out of Scottish airports including the ‘Highlands & Islands’ services.