78% of flybe’s international routes still unserved; Southampton worst hit

78% of flybe’s international routes still unserved; Southampton worst hit

A lot of attention has been given to airlines taking over flybe’s former domestic UK routes, which isn’t surprising. But little attention has been given to the regional carrier’s internartional routes, most of which still aren’t served by others. We examine what is what, and see that Southampton is worst hit.

There has been a lot of focus on flybe’s domestic market and which routes have been taken up by others. 

After all, 70% of flybe’s 164,194 two-way frequencies last year were deployed domestically, OAG data highlights.

And given flybe’s network, aircraft, and focus on convenience, it was the top player by frequencies with more than easyJet and British Airways combined. (It was second by seats.)

Last week (24 September), both Eastern Airways and Loganair announced Manchester – Newquay on the same day, with this one of the last unserved ‘bigger’ former flybe routes within the UK.

Along with Blue Islands and Eastern Airways taking over routes, Aer Lingus Regional has recently taken up six from Belfast City that had over one million passengers between them, and Loganair has started or planned many, including Isle of Man – Manchester.

However, there has been far less discussion about flybe’s international routes, which numbered 77 in September 2019.

80% of flybe’s international routes still unserved; Southampton worst hit

flybe’s international network in September 2019. Southampton had the most flybe international routes of any airport, mainly to regional France. Source: OAG Mapper.

78% of flybe’s international routes unserved, a drop of 342 weekly frequencies each way

flybe’s 77 international routes in September 2019 involved 12 UK/Channel Island airports and 35 destinations across mainland Europe and Ireland.

The carrier had 478 one-way frequencies on its international services in a typical week in September.

In September 2020, however, other airlines have just 136 one-way flights – a drop of 342, equivalent to nearly 50 daily departures.

The reason: only 17 of its 77 routes are served in September 2020. 78% are still unserved.

Perhaps this isn’t surprising given the current environment. More fundamentally, it probably reflects route performance by flybe, the result of its low-capacity aircraft – ATR-72s, Dash-8-400s, and Embraer 175s and 195s – on many of the routes it chose.

However, four more routes will be coming later this year: three because of Wizz Air’s new Doncaster base and the launch of Alicante, Faro, and Malaga, together with both Blue Islands and Eastern Airways starting Southampton – Dublin.

78% of flybe’s international routes still unserved; Southampton worst hit

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser and airline websites.

flybe’s 77 international routes: a summary

Most of the following is based on the week starting 25 September, but some are from earlier in the month to include more routes.

*Click here to download an Excel version of this table*

Origin Destination flybe’s one-way WF in Sept. 2019 Airline/s (and one-way WF if >1) in Sept. 2020 One-way WF WF change YOY
BHX AMS 31 KLM 26 -5
MAN CDG 26 Air France (8), easyJet (4) 12 -14
SOU AMS 26 KLM 5 -21
BHX CDG 20 Air France’s Hop 6 -14
MAN AMS 20 KLM (25), easyJet (7) 32 12
SOU DUB 20 0 0 -20
MAN DUS 19 Eurowings 8 -11
BHX DUS 15 Eurowings 10 -5
CWL DUB 15 0 0 -15
EXT CDG 13 0 0 -13
LCY DUS 13 BACF 4 -9
SEN RNS 12 0 0 -12
SOU CDG 12 0 0 -12
CWL CDG 11 0 0 -11
SEN GRQ 10 0 0 -10
BHX STR 9 0 0 -9
EXT AMS 8 0 0 -8
LCY AMS 8 KLM 13 5
BHX MXP 7 0 0 -7
DSA AMS 7 0 0 -7
EMA AMS 7 0 0 -7
MAN NOC 7 0 0 -7
BHX NOC 6 0 0 -6
BHX TXL 6 0 0 -6
DSA DUB 6 0 0 -6
LBA DUS 6 0 0 -6
MAN MXP 6 easyJet (3), Ryanair (3) 6 0
SOU ALC 6 0 0 -6
SOU DUS 6 0 0 -6
SOU EGC 6 0 0 -6
MAN LYS 5 0 0 -5
MAN TLS 5 0 0 -5
SEN CFR 5 0 0 -5
BHX LYS 4 0 0 -4
EDI NOC 4 0 0 -4
EXT AGP 4 Ryanair 2 -2
EXT ALC 4 Ryanair 1 -3
EXT DUB 4 0 0 -4
MAN HAJ 4 0 0 -4
SOU AGP 4 0 0 -4
SOU NTE 4 0 0 -4
BHX BOD 3 0 0 -3
BHX HAJ 3 0 0 -3
BHX HAM 3 0 0 -3
DSA ALC 3 TUI 2 -1
MAN LUX 3 0 0 -3
SOU FAO 3 0 0 -3
SOU PMI 3 0 0 -3
SOU LRH 3 0 0 -3
CWL FAO 2 Ryanair 3 1
CWL MXP 2 0 0 -2
CWL ORK 2 0 0 -2
DSA AGP 2 TUI 2 0
DSA CDG 2 0 0 -2
DSA FAO 2 0 0 -2
EXT FAO 2 0 0 -2
EXT PMI 2 0 0 -2
NWI AGP 2 0 0 -2
NWI ALC 2 0 0 -2
SOU VRN 2 0 0 -2
CWL FCO 2 0 0 -2
CWL MUC 2 0 0 -2
CWL VCE 2 0 0 -2
CWL VRN 2 0 0 -2
BHX NTE 1 0 0 -1
EXT EGC 1 0 0 -1
SOU AVN 1 0 0 -1
SOU LIG 1 0 0 -1
DSA PMI 1 TUI 2 1
SOU TLN 1 0 0 -1
BHX BIA 1 0 0 -1
GCI ZRH 1 0 0 -1
LCY RNS 1 0 0 -1
MAN NTE 1 Ryanair 2 1
SOU BIA 1 0 0 -1
SOU BOD 1 0 0 -1
SOU PGF 1 0 0 -1
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser and, for this year, airline websites. 

flybe’s thicker routes served

Of the 17 routes that are served in September 2020, it isn’t surprising that seven were in flybe’s top-10. These are ordinarily operated by more than one operator anyway and are generally good-sized markets:

Depressed demand from coronavirus has necessarily meant that the YOY change for most of these is worse than it would otherwise have been.

78% of flybe’s international routes still unserved; Southampton worst hit

In September 2019, flybe served five destinations in Germany from Birmingham: Berlin Tegel, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, and Stuttgart. Of these, all but Düsseldorf are now unserved. Here, Hamburg’s Alexandra Ringe, Manager, Traffic Development & Sales and Aviation Marketing, welcomes flybe from the West Midlands airport.

Southampton – Amsterdam biggest fall YOY

Southampton – Amsterdam had the biggest fall YOY at -21 weekly departures.

This is despite KLM restarting the route last month, albeit on a five-weekly basis (down from the planned daily) versus 26 with flybe.

Southampton – Dublin is currently unserved despite being a core international route for flybe with 20 weekly frequencies. However, as mentioned above, this will change next month when two operators begin it; together they’ll have a 16-weekly offering in early November.

The biggest drops on unserved routes and routes that haven’t been announced are:

  • Cardiff – Dublin: -20 one-way weekly frequencies
  • Exeter – Paris CDG: -13
  • London Southend – Rennes: -12. Rennes is unserved from London.
  • Southampton – CDG: -12
  • Cardiff – CDG: -11
  • Southend – Groningen: -10. Groningen is unserved from London.

Paris CDG featured three times; in all, four of flybe’s six CDG routes are now unserved.

78% of flybe’s international routes still unserved; Southampton worst hit

flybe’s routes that had the highest weekly frequencies and which are unserved and haven’t been announced. Rennes and Groningen are unserved from London. Source: OAG Mapper.

Southampton worst hit

Looking at eight airports, Southampton is the worst impacted on an absolute change basis, with weekly one-way flights down by 96.

Last September, flybe had 18 international routes from the airport and 101 departures a week, of which nearly six in ten were to Amsterdam, CDG, and Dublin.

Half of flybe’s Southampton’s routes were to regional France, such as Avignon, Bergerac (six-weekly), Nantes, Perpignan, and Toulon.

Birmingham, meanwhile, is down by 67 weekly departures from reduced service to Amsterdam and CDG together with the loss of 10 routes: Bastia, Berlin Tegel, Bordeaux, Hamburg, Hannover, Knock, Lyon, Milan Malpensa, Nantes, Stuttgart.

Cardiff and Exeter have lost a combined 14 routes.  Cardiff mainly lost low-frequency city-break destinations, such as Munich, Rome, and Venice, along with the more obvious CDG and Dublin.

Exeter lost the capitals of Ireland, France, and the Netherlands, together with mainly summer-sun routes.

In all, Cardiff and Exeter lost 37 and 35 weekly departures respectively. But like with Southampton, it is made worse by flybe being so dominant at the airports and having relatively few international departures in the first place.

78% of flybe’s international routes still unserved; Southampton worst hit

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser and airline websites.


Comments

  1. Karen Hughes says:

    I’ve managed to get a flight from Manchester to Hannover with Lufthansa but I have to change in Munich with 4 hours between flights but I wish there was a direct flight. I really miss Flybe.

  2. KAY WOODS says:

    We too miss Flybe. Used to fly with them from Southampton to Faro. Always lovely crew, rarely delayed & Southampton airport was so efficient and personal. When, as we do, you live on the Isle of Wight, Southampton airport is a brilliant place to travel from. Absolutely refuse to go from Gatwick any more, too much hassle. Please bring popular European routes back. Otherwise I will have to go on cruises !

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