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Flybe Accounce Massive Boost to Isle Of Man Routes 27 November 2007

Flybe will today inject a huge boost of confidence to the Island’s air services as they reveal their massively expanded services for summer 2008. The number of seats being offered to and from the Island will increase by 40% from 550,000 to 770,000 per annum. At the same time, key routes to the North West, London and the Midlands will see big improvements.

Flybe took over the BA Connect routes from the Island earlier this year and from next April, the Island will benefit from:

• An increase in the number of flights to Birmingham from seven to twelve weekly, providing a double daily operation. • A huge increase in the number of flights to the recently started Luton route from the current four flights weekly to twelve weekly, again providing a double daily service. • The introduction of increased capacity to the Island’s key market of North West England with the operation of three flights daily to Liverpool. • A weekly flight to Newquay, charter details will be announced soon. • Twenty-six flights weekly to London Gatwick Airport • The continuation of the five flights weekly Southampton route.

Ann Reynolds, Isle of Man’s Airport Director was delighted with the news of the Flybe expansion. “I am particularly pleased with the initiative to expand the popular Luton service so quickly after its re-introduction last month,” she said. “Clearly, Flybe have seen the potential of this North London route, which generated almost 60,000 passengers last year, and have decided to offer a superb double daily service. I am also glad to see the much needed increase in capacity between the Isle of Man and Birmingham. The twice daily Flybe operation is a development of their very successful 2007 programme when, throughout the summer, flights were regularly over 80% full.”

The introduction by Flybe of three flights daily to Liverpool complements the existing five daily flights to the city with EuroManx and the eight daily flights to Manchester from the Island, together with twenty-two weekly between the Isle of Man and Blackpool. “The North West is vitally important to the Isle of Man however we anticipate an 11.5% reduction in passenger numbers this year – over 40,000 down on the 2006 level,” added Ann. “Naturally we are anxious to see a reversal of this trend, and are confident that the North West has the potential to generate at least 350,000 passengers annually.”

The weekly service to Newquay is a completely new development for the Isle of Man, providing easy and cost effective access to popular summer resorts in Cornwall and Devon. “This is a particularly exciting opportunity for us,” said Ann. “Not only do we have a new destination for people living on the Island next summer, but this new route will hopefully encourage people in the West Country to visit the Isle of Man. Indeed, this huge expansion by Flybe will help to boost the Island’s inbound tourism significantly, especially from the UK key regional markets. Altogether, this Flybe announcement demonstrated the confidence that this major regional airline has in the future of Isle of Man air travel,” she added.

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