Regional airline Flybe is to be renamed Virgin Connect in 2020 as it moves to become part of the extended Virgin family.

The regional carrier, which was acquired earlier this year by Connect Airways, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, will be rebranding next year, replacing the purple branding with red.

Connect Airways CEO, Mark Anderson said: “We are hugely excited by this milestone in our airline’s 40-year history. We will remain true to our heritage and reason for being, which is offering essential regional connectivity to local communities.”

Anderson continued that Virgin Connect “will be passionately focused on becoming Europe’s most loved and successful regional airline” offering simple, convenient travel “with the personal touch.”

“As part of the Virgin family, we now have a tremendously re-energised team. From here on in, we invite our customers, partners and the communities we serve to join us on every step of this exciting journey!”

Enhancing regional connectivity in the UK

Flybe has also formed a new co-operation agreement with Loganair, offering customers a broader range of travel connections throughout the UK and Europe, including the airlines’ routes to and from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Manchester – the five main airports where the airlines’ networks meet.

“We are pleased to add Loganair to our ever-increasing list of codeshare partners, offering customers even more flight connection opportunities by linking our route networks,” said Alan Tune, Flybe’s director of sales, alliances and strategic partnerships, “The new codeshare agreement with our Loganair partner offers unrivalled connectivity between most of the main cities, islands and regions of the UK, and onwards to several key European cities, too.”

The agreement means customers making a single booking for a connecting journey between Flybe and Loganair can check-in bags through to their final destination.

Passengers also no longer have to pay multiple Air Passenger Duty charges previously faced when buying separate tickets from Loganair and Flybe.

Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s managing director also commented on the “tremendous benefits” the partnership would offer passengers “through assured connections, reduced travel costs and convenient through check-in.”

“The new codeshare agreement will link all of the communities that we’re proud to serve as Scotland’s airline with major destinations throughout the UK and Europe, and I’m sure that this will be fantastic news for UK tourism, business and by making it easier to visit friends and family,” he continued.

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson commented: “Regional airlines provide essential links for Scottish businesses and our tourism sector, so this agreement between Loganair and Flybe is very welcome,” adding that it enhances connectivity for the Highlands and Islands with the rest of the UK.

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