Virgin Atlantic has leased two London Heathrow slot pairs to Flybe for the summer 2019 season.
Virgin previously leased the departure and arrival slots for Flybe's forthcoming link from Guernsey to the now defunct Cobalt Air.
Flybe will have four more slots at London Heathrow this summer thanks to leases from Virgin Atlantic. (Heathrow Airport)
Flybe has also gained another pair of Heathrow slots (one inbound, one outbound) that were previously allocated to an Air France service to Paris Charles de Gaulle, but which have been sold to Virgin Atlantic. This second pair will enable the regional airline to launch an extra daily round trip between Heathrow and Edinburgh.
The move points to increasing cooperation between the two British carriers as Flybe moves towards Virgin's branding. The sale of Air France slots to Virgin also indicates that the investment Air France-KLM is making in Virgin Atlantic will extend to more than a simple equity share. Transfers to Flybe also enables Virgin and its shareholders to retain slots that they might otherwise have been unable to use for long-haul flights under the 'use it or lose it' rule.
Flybe has flown from Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh since the autumn of 2017. It will add four daily trips to Newquay for the summer 2019 season following the transfer of the subsidised route from Gatwick. Flybe now has access to 14 slot pairs at Heathrow - six for Edinburgh, three for Aberdeen, four for Newquay and one for Guernsey.
Text © The Aviation Oracle