In what has become an annual event, budget airline, Flybe, has announced its summer routes for next year almost 12 months in advance, long before the present ‘sun and sea’ season reaches its climax in October.
The carrier has added a ‘preliminary’ selection of 21 new routes, flying from three UK airports – Gatwick, Southampton, and the frequently unlucky, Exeter Airport, which was drowned in 3ft of water on Thursday, last week.
Southampton, the smallest of the British Airports Authority’s six UK airports, behind Aberdeen, and the 20th largest in the country overall, will receive at least eight routes: Alicante and Malaga in Spain, Majorca’s capital, Palma, Faro in Portugal, and four routes to France – Avignon, Bergerac, Rennes, and Nice.
Exeter Airport, which relies on Flybe to provide 29 of its 30 available flights, gets just three new routes, to Alicante, Malaga, and Faro.
Gatwick Airport has a much more eclectic selection of flights heading its way, with all but two routes travelling to domestic locations – Aberdeen and Inverness in Scotland, Belfast in Ireland, the two Channel Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, and Newcastle, Leeds, and Newquay on the mainland. Flybe will also add flights to Nantes in France, and Dusseldorf in Germany to its Gatwick schedules.
Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, noted that the new routes were part of a “first wave” of additions, which would culminate in an “extensive and affordable choice” of flights for travellers in 2011.
Prices begin at £27 for a one-way journey, taxes included, and tickets for travel between March 27 and June 30 2011 are already available online.
Continuing Flybe’s bonanza of new flights, the carrier will supplement its Belfast City base with three extra routes, to plug a scheduling gap caused by a complete Ryanair exodus. Flybe will travel from Belfast to Bristol, East Midlands, and Liverpool airports from October 31.