Flybe has dismissed reports that it plans to axe all domestic flights with strong UK train routes.
Flybe, which is to be rebranded as Virgin Connect next year after being taken over by the Connect Airways consortium of operators featuring Virgin Atlantic, spoke out following several media reports.
Chief executive of Connect Airways, Mark Anderson, reportedly said at the Airlines 2050 summit in Westminster on Thursday (17 October) that regional airlines had “more to do” with regards to climate change.
“We need to be responsible," he told the Press Association. "Maybe there are some routes in the future, as I look at the future of Virgin Connect and how we’re connecting people to their world, that we will potentially not fly.
“We will potentially say ‘actually this makes more sense by train or this makes more sense by road’, and maybe in the future, we’ll get behind that as well.”
However, a statement issued to TTG by Flybe, said: “The examples of routes which recent media reports have used to highlight how the airline might decide to deliver a more responsible flying programme have been purely hypothetical and not based in fact whatsoever.
“There will always be the demand for regional air travel to quickly and efficiently connect people and communities across the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, where time is of the essence.”
It said its priority was to use the “right aircraft” and “optimised regional network”.
“The regional routes it chooses to operate in the future will take into consideration the role it plays in providing travel options that are both responsible, and sustainable,” Flybe added.
Flybe currently operates domestic routes between cities such as Manchester and Glasgow, Birmingham and Edinburgh, Exeter and Manchester and Exeter and London City.