1 AUGUST 2016
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Flybe has suspended plans to take up available slots at Heathrow that could have enabled it to operate a number of selected routes to and from Scotland from the end of October.
This it says is to provide relevant stakeholders with additional time to explore ways to reduce to an affordable level the proposed costs to regional airline operators striving to provide broader access to Britain’s largest international hub airport.
In the interim, and running alongside the ongoing debate on South East expansion plans, Flybe has vowed to continue lobbying the UK government for RAF Northolt, only a short drive away, to be utilised for scheduled commercial flights. The airline says this readily-available option could immediately link under-served regional airports to London, either for point-to-point travel or for onward connections to Heathrow.
Flybe CEO Saad Hammed explains: “Northolt is available right here, right now. The only people who would lose out are those who fly in noisy private executive jets to and from Northolt – this benefits only a wealthy few. We have proposed opening up Northolt to the people using our much quieter aircraft. Sadly, however, the Ministry of Defence has rebuffed our proposal to date.” An approach is thought to being considered to the chancellor, more tuned to commercial aviation and an ex-minister for transport.
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