Photo: Thomas Saunders

LONDON – More passengers will be able to take advantage of Flybe’s Edinburgh to London-Heathrow service as more daily flights are added. The carrier will offer extra daily flights from March 31 next year, meaning up to five daily flights will operate on Weekdays and Sundays and up to four daily services on a Saturday.

This increases the seat count on offer for the route by a significant 56,000 annually. 

Roy Kinnear, Flybe’s CCO noted how much of a “significant market” Scotland is for the airline, and how this route, in particular, has “grown from strength to strength since its 2017 launch”.

“This is another example of Flybe’s ongoing commitment to connecting regional communities and providing a convenient service to and from major hub airports giving customers seamless onward access to destinations across the world”, he said.

The new flight will depart Edinburgh at 12:00, arriving into London-Heathrow at 13:45. The return will then depart at 14:30, arriving back into Edinburgh for 16:05.

Gordon Dewar, CEO of Edinburgh Airport, stated that this extra flight will offer passengers “greater choice and flexibility when traveling between two of the UK’s capital cities”.

“The domestic market is one that is consistently popular at Edinburgh Airport and we’re glad that Flybe has added to their offering to increase connectivity between Edinburgh, London and beyond”, he added.

This is the first level of positive news Flybe has had in the past few weeks, after it had announced it was putting itself for sale on the London Stock Exchange.

Main contenders at the moment stem with Virgin Atlantic, IAG, and Stobart Group, who will be battling it out for acquisition of the regional carrier.

Whoever acquires Flybe will have significant access to its well-established network.

Virgin Atlantic has had experience in the domestic market with its failed Little Red venture, which only lasted a few years before its closure.

For IAG, the conglomerate, could incorporate British Airways’ domestic portfolio with Flybe’s, to offer even further domestic connectivity in their list of destinations.

British Airways Embraer

IAG, in particular, would appreciate a sale in its favor so then it can remove some of the competition in the UK domestic market and also take hold of some more valuable slots at Heathrow. 

It will be interesting to see who is the higher bidder and whether the new owner is surprising or not.

It would not be surprising if IAG wins the battle, however, given its reasoning towards an established UK domestic market.

For Virgin Atlantic, though, it would be seen as another attempt to have a domestic presence, but would potentially struggle against the likes of British Airways who are already well-established in that field. 

Only time will tell who Flybe will go for and what its next steps will be later down the line.