A regional airline based at Humberside Airport has started operating under the Flybe brand, marking the the official launch of a five-year franchise partnership.
The agreement between Eastern Airways and Flybe will strengthen Flybe’s route network while broadening Eastern Airways’ distribution channels.
All of Eastern Airways’ routes – including services from Newcastle – will now operate with Flybe’s BE flight codes and flights are bookable though the Flybe.com website and passengers with onward connections will be able to check-in through to their final destination.
Passengers will continue to have use of Eastern Airways lounges where available, as well as enjoying complimentary drinks and snacks on board.
Flybe franchise flights operated by Eastern Airways will depart from Aberdeen, Wick John O’Groats, Stornoway, Glasgow, Newcastle, Durham Tees Valley, Leeds Bradford, Humberside, Belfast City, Isle of Man, Anglesey, Cardiff, Norwich, Southampton, Paris Orly and Rodez.
Eastern Airways also operates six of Flybe’s existing branded routes in Scotland, from Sumburgh (Shetland Isles), Kirkwall (Orkney Isles), Stornoway (Western Isles), Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Mathew Herzberg, Eastern Airways’ head of commercial, said: "Although it will be largely business as usual for passengers, the new BE flight code gives our customers greater connectivity to Flybe’s routes and global airline associated network with one single, seamless booking, along with online check-in.
"From today, the franchise partnership will help to broaden the route network available to customers through the Flybe and Eastern brand and reach a wider audience of customers who are new to services operated by Eastern Airways."
Ronnie Matheson, Flybe’s interim chief strategy officer, added: "The start of our new franchise operation with Eastern Airways marks another milestone for both airlines.
"Through the routes they offer, we look forward to providing regional customers with an even greater choice of services with increased efficiencies and access to a greater choice of UK and European connections."