Flybe Aircraft: Where Are They Now?
Martin Needham provides an overview of the Flybe fleet before crunching the big data to establish where the company’s grounded aircraft are currently located.
When Flybe entered administration during the early hours of March 5, the airline was Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s fourth biggest by fleet size. It boasted 65 aircraft comprising 54 De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s, nine Embraer E175s and a pair of E195s.
As with the collapses of Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines in October 2017 and September 2019 respectively, the sudden suspension of Flybe’s services has left its fleet spread across the carrier’s network. While almost all the carrier’s aircraft were in the UK at the time it suspended operations, a single Dash 8 example has been impounded in Düsseldorf.
Airliner World research details the current whereabouts of Flybe’s now-mothballed airliners.
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400
Flybe has had a long association with the Canadian-built turboprop, having received its maiden example on April 23, 2002. It has since flown 92 examples of the 78-seater, with 54 of those aircraft in operation as of March 5.
Unsurprisingly, the type formed the backbone of the regional carrier’s fleet for more than a decade and were a common sight at both the company’s hubs and lesser frequented destinations. It was ideally suited for the firm’s network, offering a cost-effective solution for many of the niche flight routes which comprised Flybe’s bread and butter work.
|G-ECOA||Dash 8-400||4180||Exeter||February 29|
|G-ECOB||Dash 8-400||4185||Glasgow||March 4|
|G-ECOC||Dash 8-400||4197||Cardiff||March 4|
|G-ECOD||Dash 8-400||4206||Aberdeen||March 4|
|G-ECOE||Dash 8-400||4212||Southampton||March 4|
|G-ECOF||Dash 8-400||4216||Manchester||March 4|
|G-ECOG||Dash 8-400||4220||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-ECOH||Dash 8-400||4221||Southampton||March 4|
|G-ECOI||Dash 8-400||4224||Manchester||February 24|
|G-ECOJ||Dash 8-400||4229||Aberdeen||March 4|
|G-ECOK||Dash 8-400||4230||Southampton||March 4|
|G-ECOM||Dash 8-400||4233||Southampton||March 4|
|G-ECOO||Dash 8-400||4237||Exeter||February 6|
|G-ECOP||Dash 8-400||4242||Manchester||March 4|
|G-ECOR||Dash 8-400||4248||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-ECOT||Dash 8-400||4251||Manchester||March 4|
|G-FLBA||Dash 8-400||4253||Belfast/City||March 3|
|G-FLBB||Dash 8-400||4255||Newquay||February 28|
|G-FLBC||Dash 8-400||4257||Exeter||March 4|
|G-FLBD||Dash 8-400||4259||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-FLBE||Dash 8-400||4261||Newquay||March 4|
|G-JECK||Dash 8-400||4113||Aberdeen||March 4|
|G-JECL||Dash 8-400||4114||Exeter||March 3|
|G-JECM||Dash 8-400||4118||Southampton||March 2|
|G-JECN||Dash 8-400||4120||Edinburgh||March 4|
|G-JECO||Dash 8-400||4126||Exeter||March 1|
|G-JECP||Dash 8-400||4136||Glasgow||March 4|
|G-JECR||Dash 8-400||4139||Edinburgh||March 4|
|G-JECX||Dash 8-400||4155||Isle of Man||March 4|
|G-JECY||Dash 8-400||4157||Manchester||March 4|
|G-JECZ||Dash 8-400||4179||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-JEDM||Dash 8-400||4077||Exeter||February 8|
|G-JEDP||Dash 8-400||4085||Exeter||March 4|
|G-JEDR||Dash 8-400||4087||Exeter||February 13|
|G-JEDT||Dash 8-400||4088||Belfast/City||March 4|
|G-JEDU||Dash 8-400||4089||Belfast/City||March 4|
|G-JEDV||Dash 8-400||4090||Glasgow||March 4|
|G-JEDW||Dash 8-400||4093||Edinburgh||March 4|
|G-KKEV||Dash 8-400||4201||Edinburgh||March 4|
|G-PRPA||Dash 8-400||4187||Edinburgh||March 4|
|G-PRPB||Dash 8-400||4333||Manchester||March 4|
|G-PRPC||Dash 8-400||4338||Southampton||March 4|
|G-PRPD||Dash 8-400||4332||Düsseldorf||March 4|
|G-PRPE||Dash 8-400||4209||Belfast/City||March 4|
|G-PRPF||Dash 8-400||4195||Belfast/City||March 4|
|G-PRPG||Dash 8-400||4191||Belfast/City||March 4|
|G-PRPJ||Dash 8-400||4204||Edinburgh||March 4|
|G-PRPK||Dash 8-400||4203||Exeter||March 4|
|G-PRPL||Dash 8-400||4380||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-PRPM||Dash 8-400||4188||Edinburgh||March 4|
|G-PRPN||Dash 8-400||4213||Exeter||March 4|
|G-PRPO||Dash 8-400||4214||Manchester||March 4|
The General Electric CF34-powered Embraer E175 formed the backbone of Flybe’s regional jet fleet, with nine aircraft in use at the time of the carrier’s collapse. Except for two examples on lease from Germany’s HEH Aviation, G-FBJI (c/n 17000355) and G-FBJJ (c/n 17000358), the entire E175 fleet was owned by the Exeter-based regional giant.
The aircraft type was primarily used on international links from Manchester, such as those from the Northwest hub to Paris/CDG, Amsterdam/Schiphol, Knock, Luxembourg, Düsseldorf and Hannover. The jets also plied routes from Birmingham to Lyon, Paris, Geneva, Milan and Berlin/Tegel.
|G-FBJA||Embraer E175||17000326||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-FBJB||Embraer E175||17000327||Manchester||March 4|
|G-FBJC||Embraer E175||17000328||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-FBJD||Embraer E175||17000329||Manchester||March 4|
|G-FBJE||Embraer E175||17000336||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-FBJF||Embraer E175||17000341||Exeter||March 2|
|G-FBJI||Embraer E175||17000355||Birmingham||March 4|
|G-FBJJ||Embraer E175||17000358||Glasgow||March 4|
|G-FBJK||Embraer E175||17000359||Manchester||March 4|
Flybe had already phased out its two remaining Embraer E195s, with the type’s last revenue service for the Exeter-based company taking place on February 24. The Edinburgh-Birmingham link had been operated by G-FBEK, the Brazilian-built jet was ferried to East Midlands later the same day for painting into Great Dane Airlines colours. As the two examples of Flybe’s largest type were leased from Falko, it is likely that they will quickly be returned to the Hertfordshire-based lessor.
|G-FBEJ||Embraer E195||19000155||Exeter||January 17|
|G-FBEK||Embraer E195||19000168||Exeter||March 3|
Aircraft Storage by Airport
Dash 8-400 (x10)
Dash 8-400 (x7)
Dash 8-400 (x5)
|Edinburgh||Dash 8-400 (x7)||7|
|Southampton||Dash 8-400 (x7)||7|
|Belfast/City||Dash 8-400 (x6)||6|
Dash 8-400 (x3)
|Aberdeen||Dash 8-400 (x3)||3|
|Newquay||Dash 8-400 (x2)||2|
|London/Heathrow||Dash 8-400 (x1)||1|
|Cardiff||Dash 8-400 (x1)||1|
|Düsseldorf||Dash 8-400 (x1)||1|
|Isle of Man||Dash 8-400 (x1)||1|
The storing of additional ten aircraft at Manchester compounds an increasingly complex problem. The hub is currently mid-way through a £1bn programme to more than double the size of Terminal 2, meaning aircraft parking areas are already at a premium. Additionally, five TUI Airways Boeing 737 MAX 8s have been stored at the site since the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority prohibited the type’s operation in March 2019. Furthermore, three former Thomas Cook Airlines Airbus A330-200s remain on site following the airline’s collapse on September 23.
The three Thomas Cook A330s at Manchester may give some insight as to the length of time that some former Flybe aircraft could remain stored at airports up and down the country. The Exeter airline owned 20 of its Dash 8-400s and seven E175s outright and it is unlikely that the company’s administrators will have a need to collate assets such as these at a central location.
More than half of the company’s 65 aircraft were leased, and it is likely that their respective lessors will act quickly to place their assets with other airlines.
While it is still early days, no UK airlines have made a move to fill the large hole left by Flybe. Regional specialists such as Loganair and, Blue Islands and Stobart Air would be likely candidates, with their fleets suited to the routes previously plied by Flybe. Additional capacity in the form of more than 50 Dash 8-400s is also expected to be available in the not-too-distant-future.
Thicker routes, such as links from Manchester and Birmingham to Paris, Geneva and Amsterdam, would likely be capitalised upon by KLM-Air France, Swiss and easyJet, however, the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak could provide reason for hesitancy.
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