Flybe targets more domestic routes from Heathrow after launch of…

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Flybe is heading to London Heathrow for the first time next year.

The Exeter-based airline has struck a deal that will allow it to operate more than 40 flights a week from the UK’s largest international airport to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

And it has hinted that more domestic routes from the international hub could be launched in future.

Flybe will operate the slots which became available as a result of commitments required by the European Commission following the acquisition of BMI by International Consolidated Airlines Group.

The slots will not be purchased by Flybe and it will not have to pay to use the slots, other than to meet Heathrow landing and passenger charges.

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The airline’s executive chairman, Simon Laffin, said: “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.

“Flybe is the leading airline serving UK domestic passengers and these new services position us well to serve our passengers in both Scotland and the South East.

“We have long been lobbying for Heathrow to offer more opportunities for domestic flights to enhance regional connectivity. Whilst other operators may have dismissed the possibility of further domestic routes into Heathrow, we look forward to working with the airport to further expand the range of domestic destinations.”

Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, added: “Improving the connections into Heathrow from all around the UK will be vital in helping to secure the economic future of communities in every corner of the nation.

“Today’s announcement shows that the measures we’re introducing, such as the £10 reduction on domestic passenger charges, are already working to secure vital links.

“More airlines flying routes to Scottish airports means more flights, more competition and choice for families, and more visitors to Scotland. With Flybe based at Terminal 2, it also means new, unique direct access from Heathrow to markets such Colombia, Taipei and Auckland – meaning more opportunity for Scottish businesses looking to reach new export markets.”

This route expansion means that, from March 26, Flybe will operate up to 18 flights a day between London and Edinburgh, and 10 between London and Aberdeen.

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