Air passengers in the north-east have been given a boost after newly-resurrected Flybe snapped up 36 weekly flights to London.
The airline has bought the slots from British Airways, along with 50 weekly journeys – 25 departures and 25 arrivals – from Edinburgh Airport to Heathrow.
Earlier this year administrators for Flybe completed the sale of its business and assets to a new firm.
The Exeter-headquartered Flybe Ltd collapsed in March 2020, but administrators at restructuring firm EY, have now completed a deal with will also allow an unspecified number of jobs transfer to a new company affiliated with investment adviser Cyrus Capital.
The new company, previously known as Thyme Opco Limited, will now be renamed Flybe Ltd, and will be restarting flights this summer.
According to the UK-based slot coordinator, Airport Coordination Limited (ACL), the slots at Heathrow came in the form of a trade with UK flag carrier airline, British Airways.
Prior to the Covid pandemic, Flybe accounted for 40% of regional fights in the UK.
According to the slot trade published by ACL, Flybe plans to operate the 86 flights until October 2021.
Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine Liam Kerr, said: “This is very welcome news for businesses and workers reliant on routes to and from the North East.
“I’ve been campaigning for a long time to support these routes and our excellent Aberdeen airport so I am delighted.
“The issues FlyBe faced last year came at a difficult time for the industry, and operators aren’t out of the woods yet.
“So it’s great to see the regional operator coming back to support a major Scottish transport hub.
“Aberdeen needs reliable connections to Heathrow and the rest of the world.”
A spokesperson for Aberdeen International Airport said: “We are in contact with many airlines on a weekly basis and welcome any new services to grow connectivity from the North East of Scotland.”
Some readers welcomed the news by saying: “Good to see Flybe back.”
Another reader said the return of these flights “can only be good for the airport”.
One user said: “Aberdeen needs do more to get more airlines in with more routes.”
New owners take over struggling airline
Flybe employed 2,000 people and flew more than nine million passengers a year before it hit the skids and failed to gain government cash to prop it up earlier last year.
Joint administrators at EY were appointed to deal with the company previously which was renamed FBE Realisations 2021 Limited (in Administration).
The new owners are linked to Cyrus Capital, which teamed up with Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group in a rescue deal in February 2019 which kept what was Europe’s largest regional airline afloat for 13 months.
Earlier this month, Simon Edel, an administrator at EY, said: “Completion of the sale of Flybe is positive news for local communities previously served by Flybe.
“The launch of a new Flybe will enhance regional connectivity across the UK and create new job opportunities within the airline industry.
“Flybe stands to make an important contribution to local economies as they rebuild after the pandemic and as restrictions ease to allow an increase in air travel.”
A Flybe Limited spokesman said: “We are extremely excited to announce the conclusion of almost six months of dedicated hard work by the great team at Flybe, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the European Commission, and the many others who made this announcement possible.”