Flybe today (Sunday 26 March 2017) launches new direct flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
The first Flybe flight to depart London will be BE2122 to Aberdeen at 09:45.
Flybe will fly to Aberdeen & Edinburgh up to 3 & 4 times daily on weekdays. Flights will operate with reduced frequencies on Saturdays and Sundays. Flights will operate from London Heathrow Terminal 2.
At launch, Flybe will codeshare with Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. Flybe also has interline agreements in place with United Airlines, Delta, Qantas, and TAP.
Flybe does have ambitions to grow further 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.
The slots to operate these flights have been 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.
Flybe’s performance at London Heathrow will be watched closely as it is not the first airline use the bmi 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 in 2015.
In terms of competing head to head against BA, Flybe will have two key challenges. One is that BA operates with much higher frequencies on these routes. Another is that Flybe’s timetable shows markedly longer journey times than BA (typically 15 mins+). Flybe is operating Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft against the Airbus A320 and Boeing 767 for BA.
Somewhat ironically, members of the BA Executive Club frequent flyer programme will be entitled to earn Avios on Flybe flights as Flybe is an Avios partner.
Whilst this is unlikely to be a direct competitive response to Flybe, BA is also adding its Club Europe business class to all domestic routes from 1 April 2017.
London Heathrow – Aberdeen
Flight BE2122 Depart London Heathrow 09:45 – Arrive Aberdeen 11:45 (Monday – Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Flight BE2126 Depart London Heathrow 18:05 – Arrive Aberdeen 20:05 (Monday – Friday)
Flight BE2128 Depart London Heathrow 20:20 – Arrive Aberdeen 22:20 (Monday – Friday, Sunday)
Flight BE2121 Depart Aberdeen 06:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 09:00 (Monday – Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Flight BE2125 Depart Aberdeen 15:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:15 (Monday – Friday)
Flight BE2127 Depart Aberdeen 17:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:35 (Monday – Friday, Sunday)
London Heathrow – Edinburgh
Flight BE2102 Depart London Heathrow 08:45 – Arrive Edinburgh 10:25 (Monday – Friday, Saturday)
Flight BE2104 Depart London Heathrow 11:20 – Arrive Edinburgh 13:00 (Monday – Friday, Sunday)
Flight BE2018 Depart London Heathrow 18:20 – Arrive Edinburgh 20:00 (Monday – Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Flight BE2010 Depart London Heathrow 20:45 – Arrive Edinburgh 22:25 (Monday – Friday, Sunday)
Flight BE2101 Depart Edinburgh 06:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 08:00 (Monday – Friday, Saturday)
Flight BE2103 Depart Edinburgh 08:35 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:35 (Monday – Friday, Sunday)
Flight BE2017 Depart Edinburgh 15:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:30 (Monday – Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Flight BE2019 Depart Edinburgh 18:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 20:00 (Monday – Friday, Sunday)