Flybe could pick up the slots previously used by Virgin Atlantic’s short-lived regional carrier Little Red at Heathrow.
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Weekend reports said the carrier is set to challenge BA‘s monopoly on regional routes out of Heathrow. BA has to make Little Red’s slots available free to competitors as part of a condition imposed after its takeover of BMI in 2012.
The Sunday Times a said that Flybe has refused to comment, but reported that the airline would use small turboprop aircraft on the routes, which are cheaper than jet-powered aircraft. The newspaper also reported that these routes could be valuable feeder routes for many BA’s rivals at Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red was established to feed regional traffic into Heathrow for their owner’s operations from key cities around the UK.
However the airline was closed in 2014, just two years after its creation with the routes not proving profitable.
The Sunday Times reported that Flybe, currently undergoing its financial turnaround, will only operate the flights if the right slots and the right price for access to Heathrow’s terminals are available.