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Flybe to re-introduce jet services to Guernsey - 2013

 Flybe Embraer 175Flybe's new Embraer E175 jet.
In April 2011, Flybe announced the purchase of 35 new aircraft which will open the Channel Islands to more European routes. Commercial Officer Mike Rutter said the purchase made routes to some places in Europe "much more of a possibility".
He said: "The aircraft allows us to look at more European business city routes in places which can be economic to reach."

He said the planes would also have an impact on existing routes: These aircraft are 88 seaters rather than 78 seats, that means we can put more capacity into the marketplace.

"That means more inbound business and tourism for the Channel Islands. It also means we have to sell them, which means lower prices as a result."

Mr Rutter said the plane would have the biggest impact in Guernsey, which he revealed would be the first place the Embraer E-series aircraft are to be deployed. 

It will mean a jet aircraft, rather than the turboprop Dash Q400, will operate on the Guernsey to London Gatwick route for the first time since 2008.

Although later than planned, the airline introduced its new Embraer E175 jets on the Guernsey-London Gatwick route in Summer 2013, only to announce several months later that it was selling all its Gatwick landing slots. Aurigny subsequently purchased an Embraer E175 in June 2014.

When Flybe replaced the BAE 146 with the Embraer 195 it was told by Guernsey Airport authorities that the new aircraft would have to operate under weight restrictions as it had "no track record in the island" so Flybe did not employ the planes on the route.

Mr Rutter said: "This plane (E175) is a lot lighter than our previous 146 aircraft so it would mean that we could immediately restore jet service to Guernsey, which we have in Jersey and we have in the Isle of Man.

"We were very disappointed over the runway capability issues in Guernsey."

Upgrade work to the runway, expected to cost about £81m, started in 2012 and completed in 2014.



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