Flybe has announced it will return to the skies early next year with flights based from Birmingham.
The regional carrier has revealed it will serve “key regions across the UK and European Union” but has not confirmed any specific routes.
The airline collapsed into administration just before the UK went into lockdown from the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the loss of 2,400 jobs. The domestic carrier was previously based in Exeter with a presence at several other UK airports including Aberdeen, Belfast City, Manchester and Southampton.
Its business and assets were purchased in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital. The opening of the Birmingham headquarters is expected to create approximately 200 new jobs in the Birmingham and West Midlands region over the next three years.
Birmingham chosen as new headquarters and base
Flybe chief executive Dave Pflieger said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Birmingham Airport (BHX), the City of Birmingham, and the Mayor of West Midlands to make BHX the location of our new headquarters and first crew base.”
“It was an ideal choice for us due to its great people and highly skilled workforce, its central UK location, and the fact that Birmingham Airport is a global travel hub where local and connecting customers have access to over 150 worldwide destinations.”
He added: “We plan to provide more information in the coming weeks and months about ticket prices, new routes and destinations, and other important news that will help customers visit loved ones, get away for a weekend, and get out on business trips.”
“Show of faith in West Midlands”
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, said: “It really is such brilliant news that Flybe is coming back as a commercial airline, and even better that it has chosen Birmingham to house its new headquarters.
“Not only does this mean better domestic and international connectivity for our region as well as local jobs and opportunities being created here, but it’s yet another show of faith in the West Midlands with businesses choosing to commit to our region as we recover from the pandemic.
“Flybe’s choice highlights the strength of the aerospace sector in the West Midlands and the talent pool available, and I wish Dave and his team all the very best ahead of their official launch early next year.”