Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s Number One Domestic carrier, has today started operating its brand new twice-weekly summer route from Southampton Airport in Eastleigh to Tours, France with Wednesday and Saturday flights available through to September 12th.
Passengers checking in for the inaugural flight were welcomed by Southampton Airport MD, Dave Lees and Flybe’s General Manager Market Development, Ian Taylor who was also tasked with presenting a gift of Wickham Vintage wine upon arrival to the MD of the French regional airport. Tours, a picturesque city on the lower reaches of the Loire river, is in a region often referred to as ‘The Garden of France’ renowned for its wines.
The Wickham Vineyard is located in the heart of the Hampshire countryside not far from Southampton airport and its award-winning wines were recently served to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a lunch in London to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
Mr Taylor commented:
“We are strongly committed to Southampton where we are the largest airline. This new route highlights Flybe’s commitment to giving our customers as much travel choice as possible and to ‘Making flying better.”
Southampton Airport MD, Dave Lees, added:
“Tours is expected to be a popular destination for holidaymakers from the South East looking to enjoy the beautiful Loire Valley and we’re thrilled to be able to offer this regular Flybe service. It will also give those living in and around Tours a convenient route into the UK this summer for the various sporting and cultural celebrations, thanks to our excellent onward transport links.”
With the addition of this new route to Tours, The 2012 summer schedule from Southampton now offers a total choice of up to 684 flights a week on 32 popular routes. This choice includes weekly Saturday flights to Bordeaux, Inverness, Perpignan and Verona – all back by popular demand – as well as an additional flight on Sunday mornings on their already extensive schedule of up to 40 flights a week to Dublin, and an additional Saturday service for Limoges passengers. All are available for booking at www.flybe.com.
The introduction of the new service is welcome news for BAA who latest traffic figures show there was a 3.1% drop in passenger numbers at Southampton compared to last year – the biggest percentage drop of any of BAA’s sites. However the figures for the past 12 months are up 1.2% although still a long ways off its pre-recession August 2007 peak.
It’s hoped that the budget airline’s new service will help Southampton continue its revival and defy the latest slide in the UK economy.
More stories about Southampton Airport
More posts about Flybe