Flybe is a British low-cost regional airline based in Exeter, and was the largest regional airline based in Europe until January 2019 when it was sold to Connect Airways. The airline carries 8 million passengers a year from over 70 airports in the UK and across Europe, covering over 180 routes and 12 countries. The airline was the most punctual in the UK and 8th in Europe, awarded by FlightGlobal in January 2019.
The airline was launched in 1979 from the merger of Intra Airways and Express Air Services, where it was called Jersey European Airways. In 2000 the airline was renamed to British European, and then again in 2002 to its current form.
In February 2019, the airline was sold to Connect Airways which is backed by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Aviation. As part of the purchase, it was announced that Flybe will rebrand as Virgin Connect starting in 2020. Later on that year the company went into liquidation and all services were suspended. However, in later 2021 the airline announced a revival with ambitious plans to relaunch services in April 2022.
Flybe has now relaunched its services under new ownership and will be operating the majority of its flights from Birmingham and Belfast.
Flybe previously operated a diverse and extensive route map, however, as of March 2022 the airline has begun operating in 16 destinations across the UK, Netherlands and France.
If you're looking for flights within the U.K., between cities, for example, then take a look at our guide to domestic flights in the U.K.
|France||Avignon||Avignon - Provence Airport|
|Brest||Brest Bretange Airport|
|Toulon||Toulon Hyeres Airport|
|Netherlands||Amsterdam||Amsterdam Airport Schiphol|
|United Kingdom||Aberdeen||Aberdeen International Airport Airport|
|Belfast||Belfast International Airport|
|East Midlands||East Midlands Airport|
|Leeds||Leeds Bradford Airport|
|London||London Heathrow Airport|
|Newcastle||Newcastle International Airport|
All passengers are permitted to bring 1 piece of cabin baggage onboard with them. This should not exceed the dimensions of 45x36x20 cm and must weigh 7kg in weight. This item must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.
The amount of hold luggage that Flybe offered is dependent upon the fare class selected at checkout.
'Flybe Lite' class - no hold luggage is included in the price of the ticket. Checked baggage can be added for a fee.
'Flybe Smart' class - passengers are allowed 1 item of hold luggage of up to 15kg
'Flybe Plus' class - 1 item of hold luggage of up to 23 kg per bag
Flybe Check-In Information
Online check-in is available to all Flybe passengers. Simply type in your booking reference and your name to check in for your flight. Online check-in opens 36 hours before your scheduled departure and closes 40 minutes prior to the gate closing.
Passengers will be able to check in at the airport either at the self-serve kiosks or at the airline's check-in desk. Flybe's airport check-in desk is open 2 hours before the scheduled departure and closes between 60 minutes and 30 minutes prior to departure. However, we always recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled departure.
Flybe only offers an Economy Class product, however, there are a number of different ticket types within Economy Class that gave passengers extra perks, such as more flexibility with cancels and changes.
Although onboard service and amenities are the same in Economy Class regardless of the ticket type that you purchase, Flybe offers a number of different ticket types that give passengers extra perks on their ticket. The three different types of tickets were:
Flybe offers complimentary food and beverages onboard for every passenger, no matter the fare that they choose. The offerings include water, soft drinks, tea, coffee and juice. They also provide a selection of biscuits. There are no plans to introduce a full food service due to the short flights, there isn't enough time to complete the service.
Flybe doesn't offer any Wi-Fi or in-flight entertainment onboard its aircraft due to the short duration of its flights.
Prior to the relaunch of Flybe, the airline didn't offer a personal TV or overhead cabin TV on their flights. However, there was an in-flight magazine called Flight Time for passengers to read and enjoy. In addition, passengers were welcome to bring their personal devices in their cabin baggage, as long as they were used only when in flight mode.
Previously the airline offered its Spend&Fly membership which was part of the Avios airline alliance. However, this has since been terminated. A new frequent flyer program was to be adopted after the rebrand to Virgin Connect but this never happened as Flybe ceased operations.
Flybe has now announced that there are no plans to launch its own frequent flyer programme.
It is currently unknown if Flybe will form any partnerships or join an airline alliance.
The airline was previously a member of the 'One Stop to the World' programme with other airlines such as British Airways, Air France, Finnair, Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific. Similarly, Flybe had an interline agreement with Pakistan International Airways. The airline also had three franchise partners, Loganair, Stobart Air and Blue Islands.
After relaunching in April 2022, Flybe now operates a fleet of de Havilland Canada Dash 8 Q400. There are currently 7 in total but there are plans to expand to over 30 aircraft. There are plans for Nordic Aviation Capital to lease at least 12 aircraft to Flybe and a further 5 coming from Aergo Capital.
The aircraft has 78 seats in total with a 2-2 configuration.
Flybe Hub Airport
Birmingham Airport is an international airport located southeast of Birmingham city centre, at Bickenhill in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull and in Birmingham within the West Midlands, England. The airport operates with a single runway and has around 12.5 million passengers arriving and departing annually. Birmingham Airport will be the hub airport for Flybe and will also serve as the hub airport for Hans Airways. The airport is also a focus city for Jet2, TUI Airways and Ryanair. The airport offers both domestic flights within the UK, and international flights to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, North America and the Caribbean. The airport is served by Aer Lingus, Air France, Emirates, KLM, Eurowings, Loganair, Swiss International Air Lines, Wizz Air and more.
Birmingham Airport is well connected to the surrounding area, with rail, bus and coach services all operating to the airport. Birmingham International is the airport's station offering services within the West Midlands and nationwide by Avanti West coast, Cross Country, Transport for Wales, London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway. Local and regional bus services also operate to the airport, currently, National Express West Midlands runs the X1, X12 and 75/75A local bus services. National Express also runs intercity coach services from the airport. Travelling to the airport using private transfers are also very easy as the airport is located near the M42 making it easily accessible by car or taxi. Hire a car from one of the airport's numerous car rental companies or book a taxi at one of the providers based at the airport.
Flybe Special Services
Passengers can request special assistance for their flights. This included within the airport terminal, assistance checking in and dropping off bags, going through security and to the departure gate and getting on or off the aircraft. You can request this service from the airline's website at the time of booking. When you arrive at the airport ask at check-in or first visit the accessibility desks within the terminal building.
Flybe hasn't yet begun operating its services, however, there are numerous airlines you could travel with instead:
Flybe News & Updates
Flybe Update March 2022:
Flybe announces its route map in preparation for launch later in 2022.
Flybe Update February 2022:
In October 2020, Flybe was acquired by EY and announced that they'll be re-launching in 'early 2022' from Birmingham International Airport.
Flybe Update September 2021:
Flybe, the defunct UK airline, is edging closer to returning to the skies. The carrier, which ceased operations in 2020, is currently recruiting for key personnel. It's the clearest sign so far that the airline is getting closer to resuming operations. The airline company, which is currently owned by Thyme Opco, had previously stated that it hopes to restart once travel restrictions are eased following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Flybe Update October 2020:
Collapsed regional airline Flybe could restart operations as soon as 2021, after administrators announced a deal had been struck with investors to restart the airline. The administrators have said that they are working with the airline's new owners and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to prepare for Flybe's return to the skies.
Flybe was a key carrier for many of the UK's smaller airports, operating the majority of flights (about 80%) from Southampton, Exeter and Belfast City airports. When the airline returns, it will operate at a much smaller capacity, although more information has yet to be announced.
Flybe Update March 2020:
Flybe ceased operations on 4th March 2020. However, it was announced in October 2020 that the airline hopes to resume regional flights in the U.K., perhaps as early as 2021. When it resumes flights, the capacity will be much smaller than when the airline previously operated. For more information, take a look at our news section at the bottom of the page.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that the airline had entered administration. All flights were cancelled with immediate effect, putting over 2,000 jobs at risk.
Flybe’s administrator referred to coronavirus as a significant cause in its statement.
Where does Flybe fly to?
Flybe now operates in 16 destinations across the UK, Netherlands and France. These include Toulon, Inverness and Southampton among others.
What planes does Flybe use?
Flybe uses a fleet of de Havilland Canada Dash 8 Q400. They currently have 7 but there are plans to expand to over 30 aircraft in total.