Cardiff Airport set to expand on Flybe growth

by William ASTON on July 23, 2010

The recent expansion of Flybe Limited could result in a host of new routes out of Cardiff.

The UK leader in domestic air travel and one of Europe’s most successful regional airlines, Flybe recently committed to buying 35 planes, leading to speculation that additional services from Cardiff could soon be on the agenda.

Flybe already operates services to 11 destinations from Cardiff Airport, including Edinburgh, Belfast and Paris, while management at Cardiff have said openly that they would be very keen to discuss potential expansion opportunities with the carrier.

The new additions to the Flybe fleet mean that it is in the process of purchasing around 140 aircraft in total, with its business market believed to be focusing on commercial destinations across Europe such as Frankfurt, Lyon and Dusseldorf. The company is taking on new planes from Embraer, including the E-Family Embraer 175, as it looks to grow its operations. The planes in questions were purchased, according to Flybe, as a direct result of customer feedback and preference, and feature a 2×2 seating plan in the 88-seat aircraft – the first of which has been slated for delivery in September 2011.

Flybe chairman and chief executive, Jim French CBE, said that Flybe was delighted to announce the new additions, which come with an estimated $1.3bn (£850m). French added that the new acquisitions fitted the group’s stated aim of solidifying their position as the leading European regional airline.

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