Flybe to launch direct routes from London Heathrow to Aberdeen & Edinburgh from 26 March 2017

Flybe has today announced it is to launch direct flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh from 26 March 2017.

The slots to operate these flights will be sourced from British Airways.  As a condition of the purchase by its parent company, International Airlines Group, of bmi British Midland from Lufthansa in 2012, IAG is required to make slots available to eligible airlines for certain designated city pairs including London to Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The process is overseen by independent trustee.

Under the conditions attached to the release of the slots Flybe can only use them on these designated routes for up to three years (it is for this reason Flybe can’t use slots forfeited by BA to launch Glasgow or Manchester from London Heathrow).  After three years, Flybe can use the slots of any other European route.

Flights will operate from London Heathrow Terminal 2.   Flybe will offer convenient connections to Star Alliance airlines operating from this terminal such as Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines.

Flybe will fly to Aberdeen & Edinburgh up to 3 & 4 times daily on weekdays. Flights will operate with reduced frequencies on Saturdays and Sundays.

Flybe is of course not the first airline to attempt to compete against British Airways using these remedy slots.  In 2013, Virgin Atlantic launched “Little Red” which operated from London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.  However, this proved to be short-lived and closed down last year.

However, Flybe clearly has an ambition to grow at London Heathrow.  Flybe has signalled that if a third runway is built it would seek to launch new domestic routes from London Heathrow to Liverpool, Durham, Humberside, Newquay and Prestwick.

Somewhat ironically, although Flybe and BA are competing head to head on these routes, members of the BA Executive Club frequent flyer programme will be entitled to earn Avios on Flybe flights.

Initial observations from the timetable are that Flybe will have difficulty competing with BA on both schedule and timing as flight times appear longer than BA Airbus services to London Heathrow.

In light of this announcement, BA may have to make adjustments to its own London Heathrow timetables from March 2017.

Full details are available in the Flybe press release.

London Heathrow – Aberdeen – London Heathrow

Monday – Friday (3 flights a day)

· Depart London Heathrow 09:45 – Arrive Aberdeen 11:45
· Depart London Heathrow 18:05 – Arrive Aberdeen 20:05
· Depart London Heathrow 20:20 – Arrive Aberdeen 22:20

· Depart Aberdeen 06:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 09:00
· Depart Aberdeen 15:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:15
· Depart Aberdeen 17:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:35

Saturday (1 flight a day)

· Depart London Heathrow 09:45 – Arrive Aberdeen 11:45
· Depart Aberdeen 06:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 09:00

Sunday (2 flights a day)

· Depart London Heathrow 09:45 – Arrive Aberdeen 11:45
· Depart London Heathrow 20:20 – Arrive Aberdeen 22:20

· Depart Aberdeen 06:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 09:00
· Depart Aberdeen 17:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:35

London Heathrow – Edinburgh – London Heathrow

Monday -Friday (4 flights a day)

· Depart London Heathrow 08:45 – Arrive Edinburgh 10:25
· Depart London Heathrow 11:20 – Arrive Edinburgh 13:00
· Depart London Heathrow 18:20 – Arrive Edinburgh 20:00
· Depart London Heathrow 20:45 – Arrive Edinburgh 22:25

· Depart Edinburgh 06:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 08:00
· Depart Edinburgh 08:35 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:35
· Depart Edinburgh 15:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:30
· Depart Edinburgh 18:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 20:00

Saturday (2 flights a day)

· Depart London Heathrow 08:45 – Arrive Edinburgh 10:25
· Depart London Heathrow 18:20 – Arrive Edinburgh 20:00

· Depart Edinburgh 06:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 08:00
· Depart Edinburgh 15:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:30

Sunday (3 flights a day)

· Depart London Heathrow 11:20 – Arrive Edinburgh 13:00
· Depart London Heathrow 18:20 – Arrive Edinburgh 20:00
· Depart London Heathrow 20:45 – Arrive Edinburgh 22:25

· Depart Edinburgh 08:35 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:35
· Depart Edinburgh 15:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:30
· Depart Edinburgh 18:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 20:00

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