Eastern Airways has signed a Heads of Terms agreement with Flybe forming an alliance between both UK airlines.
The aim is for contracts to be finalised and signed within a matter of weeks.
The agreement includes a five-year franchise partnership whereby Eastern Airways will operate its scheduled network under the Flybe brand. In addition to this, Eastern Airways will provide four aircraft to operate a number of existing Flybe branded routes from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester under the Flybe franchise.
As part of the franchise partnership, Eastern Airways routes will operate with Flybe’s BE flight codes. Eastern Airways livery will be retained on its aircraft for scheduled services and the carrier’s ad-hoc charter services and corporate shuttle operations.
Richard Lake, Chief Executive of Eastern Airways, said:
“This alliance will benefit both airlines as not only does it strengthen Flybe’s network, but broadens our distribution and enhances connection opportunities for our customers through its global airline association. We have specialised in fixed-wing flying in the oil and gas market for many years and our expertise will provide a greater opportunity to further develop offshore connectivity to Flybe’s network.”
Christine Ourmieres-Widener, Flybe CEO said:
“This alliance with Eastern Airways is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the Flybe network. We already operate flights at a number of common airports and this will enable passengers to connect to a greater number of destinations, across the UK and into Europe, all booked through Flybe.com. Eastern will operate routes from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester to offer an enhanced service to passengers based in Scotland and travelling to Scotland. Combined with our flights to Heathrow from Edinburgh and Aberdeen, this demonstrates our strong commitment to serving Scotland.
Eastern Airways has been operating for over 19 years. Its fleet consists of two Embraer 170 and five Embraer 135/145 jets, as well as nine Saab 2000s and is the largest operator in the world of Jetstream 41 aircraft with 17.