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  1. ITV Report

Flybe acquisition completed securing long-term future

Flybe's future has now been confirmed Credit: ITV West Country

The future of Europe's largest regional airline, Flybe, is now secure as the European Commission has today confirmed Connect Airways' acquisition of the company.

In January this year, a consortium led by Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group bought the Exeter-based airline after it was put up for sale in November.

The merger of these companies - Flybe, Stobart Air and Propius - into Connect Airways has now been confirmed.

Mark and his team at Connect Airways have an amazing opportunity ahead of them. At Virgin Atlantic we recognise the value of great partnerships, and the network and connectivity benefits they offer customers.

– Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic

What will this mean for Flybe customers?

  • Flybe's long-term future is confirmed
  • Improved connectivity between UK regional airports and Virgin Atlantic long-haul networks (like London Heathrow and Manchester Airports).
Flybe is Europe's largest regional airline Credit: ITV West Country

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From today, that team are building an exciting future based on a low-cost customer-centric regional connectivity strategy. I am excited for the future of this business.

– Warwick Brady, CEO, Stobart Group
Virgin Atlantic will be part of the merger Credit: PA Images

Flybe serves nine countries from 85 European airports. Connect Airways will be taking full control, but Mark Anderson will be remaining as CEO of the new business.

Executives at Flybe and Stobart have said that their focus will now be expanding Flybe's regional network as well as Stobart Air's franchise business.

Lucien Farrell, Chairman of Connect Airways, said: “Today is an important day as Connect Airways takes full control of Flybe, bringing the team together with Stobart Air. Under Mark’s leadership, the company has the opportunity to create a world-class offering for customers, combining a highly successful franchise flying business with Europe’s largest regional airline. I wish Mark and the team every success.”

Flybe serves nine countries from 85 European airports Credit: PA Images

Our whole team is focused on redefining the experience for our customers, as we rediscover the excitement and passion of being Europe’s largest regional airline.

– Mark Anderson, CEO, Connect Airways