Flybe has announced it will launch a service between Newcastle International Airport and London Southend Airport starting from March, with seats on sale from today, Thursday, November 14.
More than 6 million seats will go on sale across its summer schedule, with seven other new routes joining the company’s programme of flights, with 104 to be available in its first phase for 2020.
The company has said it is also improving timings and added frequency on key business routes, with up to 2,500 flights in total to run across its network.
The flights on sale will run from Sunday, March 29, to Saturday, October 24, with the journeys to open up new ways of reaching onward destinations from Southend – they include Sofia, Košice in the east of Slovakia, Cluj-Napoca in Romania and Groningen in the Netherlands, as well as a host of popular holiday resorts across Spain and France.
The firm is to undergo a rebrand next year as part of the extended Virgin family and will be known as Virgin Connect.
The airline, together with its partner Stobart Air, is part of the Connect Airways group.
As part of a new commercial arrangement with Stobart Air to optimise operations, Flybe will next summer increase significantly its short-haul presence in the London market by offering 10 routes with a choice of up to 214 flights a week to and from London Southend Airport.
Six new routes – Newcastle, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Man and Jersey - will be added to the four existing routes to Caen, Groningen, Newquay and Rennes.
The increased London Southend network will be operated by three of Flybe’s own 78-seat De-Havilland Q400 turboprops based in Belfast City, Edinburgh and Glasgow alongside two 70-seat ATR aircraft based at Southend.
There will be 13 flights per week when the schedule launches between Newcastle and Southend.
The firm has also announced that it will be boosting the frequency of flights between Southamption and Newcastle, with four daily flights.
The company is also extending eight winter ski routes through Easter - to Chambery from Birmingham, Exeter and Southampton; and to Geneva from Cardiff, Exeter, Isle of Man, Jersey and Southampton.
Connect Airways’ chief executive officer, Mark Anderson said: “I am very excited with our new Summer 2020 schedule and its focus on our business customers and regional communities.
“The schedule includes many of our most popular high-frequency services with better timings to accommodate our frequent fliers as well as new flights from London Southend airport.
“By increasing our presence at London Southend our customers will also, for the first-time next summer, benefit from Flybe’s ability to create a truly customer-centric regional network.
“This schedule strengthens Flybe’s commitment to providing unparalleled connectivity from regional airports to destinations across the UK, Europe and beyond.
“We understand our customers’ needs and recognise that their time is precious.
“This is why we are proud to give them added opportunity to stay connected to what matters most to them, in a way that no other regional airline can.”
Flights can be booked via www.flybe.com.