Flybe has become the latest airline to start cutting flights across the UK as routes from Belfast get the chop or are reduced.
The company, which has a hub at Belfast City Airport, planned to expand its flight schedule from the end of July going into late October this year. However, the company said it has been unable to lease aircraft to scale up flights.
As a result, there will be reduced frequency on routes including; Belfast City to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Southampton; and Birmingham to Edinburgh and Glasgow during summer 2022.
The routes from Belfast to Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle have been cancelled during the same period.
CEO Dave Pflieger has apologised to customers blaming “late aircraft deliveries” for the inconvenience.
“This is not a decision we’ve have taken lightly, and as you would expect we are in daily conversations with all involved to see if anything might change that would allow us to resume our original plans at an earlier date,” he said.
“It is essential that we take action now to ensure you have enough time to change your travel plans, be reaccommodated on a different flight or, if that is not desired, obtain a full refund.”
To our valued customers,
Firstly, please accept my unreserved apologies for the rescheduling or cancellation of your flight.
You’ll be wondering, I’m sure, why this has happened, so please let me try and explain.
As you may know, it’s been 83 days since our first flybe flight took to the skies from Birmingham and Belfast, and today we now fly customers to destinations from East Midlands, Leeds-Bradford, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London-Heathrow, and Amsterdam.
We were planning to increase flights to existing cities and new destinations such as Aberdeen, Inverness, Newcastle, and Southampton. However, the two aircraft leasing companies who were contracted to provide our additional airplanes have now told us that they will be unable to fulfil their commitments until after the summer.
We were able to find and rent aircraft from two separate airlines in Greece and Spain, but those planes are not enough, and the lack of additional aircraft needed for new flying means we need to adjust our future flight schedule.
As a result, today we are reducing our planned increase in flying for the period of 28 July until 29 October. This new schedule will be fully supported by the aircraft we do have available, and we will still introduce more flights later this year -- after we receive our delayed aircraft.
This is not a decision that I have taken lightly, and as you would expect we are in daily conversations with all involved to see if anything might change that would allow us to resume our original plans at an earlier date.
That said, given the current facts, I believe it is essential that we take action now to ensure you have enough time to change your travel plans, be reaccommodated on a different flight or, if that is not desired, obtain a full refund.
We know that time is of the essence, and we want to ensure you can adjust your plans as soon as possible. To assist with your efforts and enable you to quickly choose whichever option is best for you, we have added some new functionality to our flybe.com website that will enable you to change your reservation or request a refund at your convenience. If, for any reason, you are unable to find a suitable alternative or request a refund, we would ask that you email us at email@example.com for further assistance.
Please be aware that it might take us longer than normal to get back to you because of this difficult situation, but rest assured we will respond to every enquiry we receive.
In closing, I want to apologise again to anyone who may be affected by this announcement; thank everyone who has flown on us to date; and renew our commitment to do everything possible to keep improving our company and keep you informed as we grow and serve you and your communities.
On behalf of our entire team at flybe, thank you again for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.
With my very best regards,