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Flybe And Isle Of Man Government Meet To Discuss Proposed Acquisition Of BA Connect 13 November 2006

Representatives from the Departments of Transport, Trade & Industry, Treasury, and Tourism & Leisure met yesterday with senior executives from Flybe and BA Connect to identify and discuss issues arising from the proposed acquisition. Those present included Jim French, Chief Executive of Flybe; Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer; Andrew Strong, Flybe’s Chief Operating Officer; and Simon Witts, Operations Director for BA Connect.

Flybe is currently completing its due diligence review of BA Connect and hopes to complete the transaction by the end of this calendar year. Flybe confirmed it will work closely with the Isle of Man staff and the Isle of Man Government to discuss the implications for staff and services.

Flybe confirmed its desire to work in partnership with the Isle of Man Government to determine the future of BA Connect's Isle of Man engineering facility. Flybe stated its intention to headquarter engineering work in its new £14m facility in Exeter. Flybe will explore all options for the Ronaldsway facility in co-operation with the Isle of Man Government.

The Minister for Trade and Industry Alex Downie commented:

“The meeting was a useful start to discussions concerning the future of the engineering facility and my Department will continue to work closely with Flybe and BA Connect officials. I know BA Connect has an excellent engineering team at Ronaldsway so we will work hard to find the best outcome.”

Minister for Transport Phil Braidwood added:

“There is good news on slots and on the route network. Flybe have also confirmed that they are to base the aircraft operating the Isle of Man routes here. We also discussed and received assurances on a range of related issues, including customer service policies, their commitment to lower fares, hand-over arrangements, onward connections, and marketing. We were pleased to see their obvious experience and strong commitment where regional communities are concerned.”

Carol Glover, Chief Executive of Department of Tourism & Leisure said:

“This is exactly the sort of news that should be great for visitors and residents and we look forward to working closely with the new team to develop substantial new, year round business, together”.

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