Photo: Thomas Saunders

LONDON – European regional carrier Flybe has announced that it will be providing daily airlink services between London Heathrow and the Isle of Man.

Services will commence daily from April 21 this year, which have been the first direct flights to Heathrow from the island since March 2002.

Roy Kinnear, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer has commented on this milestone offering delight over the route.

“We are naturally delighted to provide the Isle of Man with renewed connectivity to the capital and onwards to the multiple long-haul destinations available via Heathrow as we start our operations again from the Isle of Man. We look forward to welcoming many new passengers on board this direct service.”

Isle of Man Director of Ports, Ann Reynolds also added a comment to this.

“This great news is a welcome addition and is a route that our diverse business economy has been seeking.”

The service will be operated by the airline’s Dash 8 Q400, offering 78 seats in total.

Isle of Man seems to be the next focus for the airline, with five routes in total for its Summer 2019 scheduling.

The other routes are services to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, which connects the UK quite sufficiently in line with Heathrow.

Also, services to Geneva from the airport will carry over from the Winter programme that operates to April 13 this year.

This is the third airlink for London Heathrow under Flybe’s recent presence in the airport.

We have also seen Guernsey airlinked up to London Heathrow, which will begin from March 31st, offering over 33,000 seats alone in that market.

The other airlink is to Newquay, which will start at the same time as Guernsey.

Out of Heathrow alone, services to Edinburgh had also commenced, going into competition with the likes of British Airways on the route.

With the UK Government subsidising most of these airlinks through Passenger Service Obligations (PSOs), it will be interesting how much it contributes to the airline’s success overall.

Where else Flybe will boost its presence to in the UK remains unclear, but as central, southern and northern areas of England are covered, it may be time to expand even further into the likes of Scotland or Northern Ireland or even Wales, if there is demand.

But for now, in the wake of turbulent uncertainty with Flybe in recent times, it appears that the consortium sale has strengthened its position, and will continue to do so for time to come.