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Flybe in bid to have Derry to London air route refusal reviewed

By Donna Deeney

Published 04/12/2015

Flybe would like to use RAF Northolt
Flybe would like to use RAF Northolt

Just days after City of Derry Airport announced two new flight routes, Flybe revealed it was considering operating flights between Londonderry and London.

The airline has called on the British Government to review the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to give consideration to opening up RAF Northolt to a limited number of Flybe domestic routes, including Derry.

The airline said doing so would provide improved regional connectivity to London which, would also provide an additional contribution to the Government‘s finances.

Routes that Flybe would like to investigate out of Northolt include, Liverpool, Prestwick, Inverness, Teesside, Doncaster and City of Derry. According to the airline’s estimates, the flights could generate £3m in income for the RAF and £4m in Air Passenger Duty for the Treasury.

A spokeswoman for City of Derry Airport confirmed that they were aware of Flybe’s proposal to the Ministry of Defence to open RAF Northolt for civilian flights from UK Regional airports.

She added: “This proposal was in line with the recommendations of the National Connectivity Taskforce, and it was disappointing that Ministry of Defence appears to have ruled out the

proposal.

“Airport route development continues at the airport, and our team is liaising with a number of airlines on an ongoing basis in an effort to secure additional routes from City of Derry Airport. “

Saad Hammad, Flybe’s chief executive, said failure to open Northolt could be a lost opportunity for the Government.

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