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Hebrides News


Low prices are here to stay pledges Flybe

17 August 2017

Flybe brings “genuine competition” on the Stornoway - Glasgow route, the airline told a public meeting.

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s chief revenue officer, highlighted its cheapest £50 one-way tickets are “not introductory specials” but will be available all year round under the company’s “long term viable pricing” structure.

“Because of high prices” presently charged by Loganair, “people are choosing not to travel,” he told the forum in Stornoway town hall.

Yet “low prices stimulates extra traffic,” was the message he repeatedly emphasised while Flybe offers “good value fares across the board.”

He is convinced people will travel more often on the route as a result of Flybe’s presence, leading to lower fares.

This is already happening as both carriers compete for market share.

Highlighting one particular example, passenger numbers exploded by 400% on the Melbourne - Gold Coast route in Australia when challengers took on a legacy airline, he said.

Islander Murdo Gray raised concerns of prices being hiked up if one operator was forced off the route.

Mr Hodder said Flybe had a monopoly on 80% of its routes yet “our average fare is about £50” and low prices are offered consistently across the year.

“There is no need for us to put in extraordinary high fares.”

He added: “We are coming into this market to provide a better service at a lower price.”

Flybe will operate the service under joint venture with Eastern Airways which means an 29-seater Eastern Jetstream 41 turboprop aircraft will be used while Flybe can set the fares and control the quality of service.

This is distinctly different to the franchise arrangement it is axing with Loganair where the long running problems with planes and punctuality were out of its hands, he indicated.

Nevertheless, Flybe’s reputation unfairly took a beating because the flights were branded under its name, he said.


Vincent Hodder addresses the meeting