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Flybe cut flights to Spain

Tue 26th Aug 2014
Flybe cut flights to Spain

Flybe's "Summer Sun" routes from Exeter will not be extended into the winter schedules of 2014, with the Airline admitting that from 2015 its remaining Exeter-based aircraft will no longer have the range to reach destinations in Spain.

Flybe said it took the difficult decision to withdraw its 2014-15 sun routes from Exeter at the end of 2013 with the last flights to Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma scheduled for September 30. 2014.

"We regularly examine all our 170-plus routes to assess their economic viability. This takes into consideration not only passenger numbers but also the most beneficial commercial utilisation of our fleet," a spokeswoman said. Flybe said that after "a fleet rationalisation exercise", its Embraer 195 jet aircraft would no longer operate out of Exeter.

"The smaller Bombardier Q400 will in future be the mainstay of the Exeter fleet. This aircraft does not have the range to reach Portugal and Spain," she added.

"We regret that a number of our customers are disappointed with this decision but we will still have an extensive winter timetable to and from Exeter this winter with a choice of nine core routes including a new service to London City and the return of the popular Newcastle service."

The spokeswoman refused to say that next year's Summer Sun routes had been scrapped, insisting only that the schedules had not yet been agreed. But she stressed the turboprop Bombardier Q400 would not be able to reach this year's destinations of Malaga, Alicante and Palma Mallorca on the Spanish costas.

Exeter International saw passenger numbers rise last year by 6% to 740,000, with growth continuing in the first half of this year. On Friday the consumer organisation Which? ranked Exeter among the best airports in the country for customer service, awarding it "Recommended Provider" status. An airport spokesman said: "We have had a great deal of feedback from previous passengers on these routes who have been voicing their disappointment."

He said Exeter was not the only airport affected by the Flybe move.

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