FlyBe, the UK’s largest regional operator has announced plans to close its base on the Isle of Man. The airline says the closure will be “under a phased and managed programme”. Stobart Air will continue to provide services to and from island.

The regional airline was recently acquired by Virgin Atlantic Ltd consortium Connect Airways and said the decision is part of a current review of its network requirements in a press statement on 11 September.

“Following a thorough review of its future and network plan FlyBe….announced changes to its Isle of Man operations to be completed through a phased and managed programme by the start of summer 2020.”

Under a new arrangement with fellow UK regional airline Stobart, a change in aircraft will be seen at the start of the new year. FlyBe’s two DeHavilland Q400s the currently operate on the route will be replaced with ATR 72-600s.

The new services with the ATR are due to start on 5 January next year with a second example arriving on 29 March. At this point Stobart will take over the Isle of Man operations entirely from FlyBe.

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