EU Approves Flybe Acquisition

Connect Airways has been given the green light by the European Commission to complete its acquisition of Flybe and its investment in Stobart Air

The company, which is part owned by Virgin Atlantic, said this would secure Flybe’s long-term future and ‘provide more choice for customers across the UK’.

It said CEO Mark Anderson and the leadership teams of both airlines will now focus on plans to grow Flybe’s regional network and expand Stobart Air’s franchise business.

Connect also confirmed that it is working on a new brand and customer proposition, which it will announce ‘in due course’.

It said its acquisition of Flybe would ‘lead to improved connectivity between UK regional airpots and Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul network at Heathrow and Manchester’ and an ‘enhanced customer experience in line with the Virgin brand’.

Connect chairman Lucien Farrell said: “Today is an important day as Connect Airways takes full control of Flybe, bringing the team together with Stobart Air. Under Mark’s leadership, the company has the opportunity to create a world-class offering for customers, combining a highly successful franchise flying business with Europe’s largest regional airline. I wish Mark and the team every success.”

Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said: “I’m excited to build on the successful partnership Virgin Atlantic has enjoyed with Flybe – and how we can enhance the experience for our mutual customers, once Connect Airways joins the Virgin family and operates under its new brand.”