Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Flybe London flights bring 130 jobs

130 new jobs are expected to be created as a result of reinstated flights between Leeds Bradford Airport and London Gatwick.

About 30 new posts will be created by Flybe, the UK’s largest operator of domestic air services, which has stepped into the breach left by rival bmi mainline after it axed services between Leeds-Bradford and the capital at the end of March.

The airline says another 20 jobs will be created by airport operator Bridgepoint with others likely to be generated in hospitality and travel-related industries as a result of the new flights. Twenty new jobs will also be created by Flybe at Gatwick.

Mike Rutter, Flybe’s chief commercial officer, officially unveiled the new Leeds-Bradford to Gatwick services with Yorkshire Minister Rosie Winterton today. He said Flybe expected to carry up to between 90,000 and 100,000 passengers a year on the three-times-daily flights which will start at the end of June.

He said: “Following bmi’s decision in March to axe their flights from Leeds-Bradford to London Heathrow, Flybe is delighted and proud to introduce a business-friendly schedule that will hugely benefit the regional economies of Yorkshire.”

Sandy Needham, Bradford Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said Gatwick may not be so popular with business travellers as Heathrow. But Mr Rutter said slots at Heathrow were too expensive and there were unlikely to be domestic flights there for at least ten years.

Tony Hallwood , Leeds-Bradford Airport’s commercial director, said: “This is fantastic news. We welcome the Flybe services to Gatwick.”

Flybe will begin operating the services from June 29 with one-way fares starting at £24.99, including taxes and charges. The flights will use environmentally-efficient, state-of-the-art Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

They will run Monday to Friday departing at 9am, 2.05pm and 5.05pm, with a flight time of one hour ten minutes. Flights from Gatwick at will depart at 7.25am, 12.30pm and 6.55pm. On Saturdays two flights will leave Leeds-Bradford at 8.45am and 5pm and on Sunday flights will leave at 2pm and 8.30pm.