The UK has a new UK airline. On April 13th, the new Fly took to the skies on its inaugural flight on a dark and damp morning.
I was glad to be on the ship to attend the celebration. The first flight of the route: from Birmingham to Belfast City. Aircraft: G-JCX, a 15.1-year-old Dash-8-Q400 previously operated – yes, you guessed it.
Flight BE404 left Birmingham at 09:09 and arrived in Belfast City at 10:01. Cruising 24,000 feet above sea level, it lands near Liverpool, directly off the Isle of Man and over the sea. There were two captains: Adam Bright (whose family was on the ship on his first flight as captain) and Mark Firth, director of flight operations.
The Fly has two roundtrip flights on this historic day, between Birmingham and Downtown Airport in Northern Ireland. However, compared to Flybe 1.0, it has been reduced by a very different competitive scenario.
In 2019, Flybe was the only carrier between Belfast City and Birmingham. Now it is against the Aer Lingus regional – operated by Emerald Airlines, the first route from Belfast to Birmingham – although Belfast International has far more flights than ever before.
According to the OAG, there are 5% more seats for city-pair sales between May and September than in the pre-epidemic. Asked about the higher competition on the opening flight, Flybe CEO Dave Fliger said there was “plenty of room for everyone … we have a good schedule, good prices.” It’s a public relations answer, but it will be interesting to see how things develop next year.
I paid 39.98
When Flybe is open for booking, it offers routes from ুখ 19.99 one-way primary base fare with optional extras.
As you might expect, the lowest carrier fare (regardless of route) has since increased one-way to £ 29.99 and is now at £ 34.99.
The minimum base fare is 69.98 return, even on the fastest hops. Let’s hope it goes a little further to make the new Flybe more durable than its predecessor.
However, I paid 39.98 for my Birmingham-Belfast day trip, which reached £ 172.98 a week before departure and £ 372.98 the day before. The outbound flight, of course, was explicitly priced at 271.99. It was packed, obviously from the massive demand for the opening departure.
Hi, I’m Dave!
Staying on the first flight has always been great, and today is no exception. There was a natural, exciting atmosphere, including balloons, stickers, a goodie bag, biscuits, water vats, celebrities, etc.
It was primarily filled by representatives of geeks, management, individuals who helped start the company, and suppliers. An American CEO of the career went to everyone, introduced himself, and asked if anyone had any questions.
Although the Q400 is somewhat claustrophobic, especially if you are tall and if a flight is complete, it was comfortable with enough legroom, the blue skylight helped.
Flybe CEO was talking to Dave Fliger. Photo: James Pearson – Simple Flying.
While there were complimentary refreshments for tea, coffee, juice, and biscuits, the cabin crew told me they would be included for the foreseeable future (so they could not be purchased on board). These are attractive because of the cost of delivering them and the short duration of most Flybe flights.
Are you planning to fly Flybe this year? Let us know in the comments.