Sunday, 8 March 2020

A Flybe Retrospective


Sadly Flybe stopped flying on Wednesday evening, and are now in administration. The carrier represented 93% of traffic at Southampton, and much of the air traffic closely passing the railway station at Eastleigh. Two airlines, Eastern and Blue Islands, were partners, using the Flybe reservations systems, and now continue to fly. Loganair will take over the Scottish routes in the coming weeks, but using smaller ATR equipment. No solutions yet announced for Ireland, Paris or Amsterdam, as for the more provincial destinations in France, who knows.

G-JEAJ a BAe 146-200 (2099) over Eastleigh 20th March 2005. Originally delivered to Loganair as G-OLCA in July 1988, leased to Jersey European Airways in March 1993, which then became British European and Flybe. Returned to lessor BAe Systems in October 2006. 33131 hours at end of 2007. Converted to a freighter, intended for Amerer Air but not taken up, later stored at  Bac─âu, Romania, and scrapped there in December 2015.

Dash 8 Q400 G-JECK at Southampton, 23rd February 2009. Delivered to Flybe on 10th January 2006. Last flight for Flybe was BE1033 Aberdeen to Manchester on 4th. 27704 hours recorded at 20th January.

Embraer ERJ-145 G-EMBU was acquired along with the business of BA Connect in 2007. The aircraft was new in 2001, and had 15500 hours at 31st December 2009, shortly before it was re-registered SE-RAD in Sweden in April 2010, where it was used by City Airline, which ceased operations in May 2012. The aircraft was then stored at Clermont Ferrand, France.

The ERJ-195LR was easily my favourite Flybe flight experience, but it seems that they were not making money, and these were disposed of in the recent period. G-FBEI approaches over Eastleigh with BE1716 from Alicante on 6th August 2015. Delivered new in January 2008, and stored in December 2019 with 24330 hours. Now managed by Falko / registered to Ravelin Leasing of Hatfield on 27th February, with aircraft at Exeter, and "under offer".

Similar G-FBEJ at Amsterdam Schiphol on the cold evening of 13th March 2009, where I was awaiting boarding of BE1018 for Southampton, after a week spent working at Roermond in the south of the Netherlands, using the train to get to Schiphol, with a change at Utrecht. G-FBEJ more recently flew in "Welcome to Yorkshire"colours. Delivered to Flybe in March 2008, withdrawn from service 5th January 2020, after which was refinished in a white scheme at Bournemouth, and moved on to Exeter on 17th January. 23214 hours as of 20th January, like FBEI now "under offer" via Falko.

In recent years, this purple scheme was applied. G-PRPD is approaching over Eastleigh with BE146 from Newcastle on 31st May 2019. This aircraft was delivered to Colgan Air as N332NG in October 2010, but that company ceased operations and the planes moved on to Republic. Republic decided to move to the Embraer El70 and E175, and Flybe arranged a complex swap deal. As of 12th December 2019, this aircraft had 15770 hours and was recorded as owned by the airline. On 4th March the last operation for Flybe was BE7049 from Birmingham to Dusseldorf, where it is still believed to be.