Flybe Group plc ("Flybe") announces that it has signed Heads of Terms with Eastern Airways (UK) Limited ("Eastern") to establish a new alliance:

  1. a five-year franchise agreement in which Eastern will operate its scheduled route network under the Flybe brand; and
  2. a joint revenue and risk sharing agreement, covering four Eastern aircraft, to fly existing Flybe branded routes from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. The four aircraft will be operated under the Flybe franchise and significantly improve connectivity for Scotland.

The aim is for contracts to be finalised and signed within the next few weeks. However, tickets will go on sale immediately and flights will start operating under the new arrangements from September 2017.

Eastern is a well-established UK based regional airline, whose head office is at Humberside Airport and who operates scheduled domestic and short haul international services and private charter services, with hubs at Aberdeen, Norwich, Teesside, Newcastle, Southampton, Leeds, Cardiff and Paris.

Christine Ourmieres-Widener, Flybe CEO said "This alliance with Eastern Airways is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the Flybe network. We already operate flights at a number of common airports and this will enable passengers to connect to a greater number of destinations, across the UK and into Europe, all booked through Eastern will operate routes from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester to offer an enhanced service to passengers based in Scotland and travelling to Scotland. Combined with our flights to Heathrow from Edinburgh and Aberdeen, this demonstrates our strong commitment to serving Scotland.

Richard Lake, Chief Executive of Eastern Airways, said: "This alliance will benefit both airlines as not only does it strengthen Flybe's network, but broadens our distribution and enhances connection opportunities for our customers through its global airline association. We have specialised in fixed-wing flying in the oil and gas market for many years and our expertise will provide a greater opportunity to further develop offshore connectivity to Flybe's network."