Articles from October 2019


  • Routes to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester to continue 
  • Two Q400 aircraft to be replaced by two ATRs operated by Stobart Air
  • Flybe base to close under phased and managed programme

Following a thorough review of its future fleet and network plans, Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has announced changes to its Isle of Man operations to be completed through a phased and managed programme by the start of Summer 2020.

In a new commercial arrangement with Stobart Air, the airline’s two DeHavilland Q400 aircraft will be replaced by more economically viable ATR 72-600s on the established routes that Flybe will continue to offer, which include Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.  Stobart Air is a successful ATR operator and these shorter routes, that Flybe currently operates to and from the Isle of Man, are more suited to this type of aircraft. 

The existing contract with the Isle of Man Department of Health and Social Care will remain in place, supporting customers seeking to access health services in the UK. 

The first ATR is planned to enter service on 5th January 2020 followed by a second ATR on 29th March 2020, when Stobart Air will assume full Isle of Man operations and continue to operate these routes. 

This means that Flybe will no longer require a physical base in the Isle of Man.  The news was communicated personally to the Flybe team by Mark Anderson, CEO of Connect Airways, who visited the Isle of Man and also discussed the future plans with key stakeholders amongst which were Minister Raymond Harmer, Department of Infrastructure; Nick Black, Chief Executive and Tim Baker, Member of House of Keys, Department of Infrastructure; Mark Lewin, Chief Executive, Department for Enterprise; Ann Reynolds, Director of Ports and Jez Spake, Deputy Airport Director. 

The company says that providing Isle of Man customers with a good choice of connections and a great customer experience remains its number one priority. Customers can continue to take advantage of one-stop connections that will remain available from Isle of Man to the world with its airline partners Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Qatar and Air France via Flybe’s Birmingham and Manchester hubs.

The daily Heathrow service, which was only introduced as part of Summer 2019 schedule, will conclude at the end of this summer season, with the last flight being on Saturday 26th October 2019.


There’s been more bad news for beleaguered Ronaldsway Airport with the announcement from Flybe that they would no longer require a physical base in the Isle of Man.

The airline, which was acquired by a consortium formed in December last year and made up of Cyrus Capital partners, Virgin and Stobart, is also going ahead with the planned withdrawal of its daily Isle of Man/Heathrow service on October 26th.

Routes to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester will continue, but will be operated by Stobart Air under a new commercial arrangement. The move will see the withdrawal of Flybe’s two De Havilland Q400 aircraft and their replacement with the slightly smaller ATR 72-600s.

The company claims the aircraft are better suited to the shorter routes and operate more economically.

The first ATR will enter service on the 5th of January and the second on 29th of March.

According to the company the new arrangements mean it no longer requires a physical base in the Isle of Man. The bad news was passed on personally to local staff, senior airport officials and politicians by Connect Airways CEO, Mark Anderson, during a recent visit to the Island.

The existing contract with the Department of Health and Social Care will continue. 

News of the Flybe move, whilst probably not totally unexpected, will certainly add to the airport’s woes. Recent estimates suggest it is losing around £3.7 million a year. 

A report into the airport’s operation by independent consultants has suggested an arms length state-owned company, with appropriate government control and scrutiny, would not eliminate losses but would provide greater commercial incentives, likely to minimise the need for subsidies in the future. The idea was supported by Tynwald in July and a plan is expected to be put before the Manx Parliament in the Spring of next year.

What is certain is that there’s no magic bullet that can turn the airport’s fortunes around. It is hoped however, that a root and branch overhaul of the entire operation might at least improve efficiency, reduce losses and boost staff morale. Sadly though, achieving the latter rarely sits comfortably with cost-cutting initiatives. 


There can be few subjects more relevant at the moment than pensions. With changes to state pensions, the prospect of later retirement for millions of people and the ongoing effects of the financial crash on private pensions it’s still a hot topic. Business365 looks at the options… 


Airline Flybe says its Isle of Man base is to close. The move follows a review of its network plans in the wake of the recent takeover by Connect Airways. The service between the Island and Heathrow Airport will be withdrawn on October 26th.


Palatine Private Equity owned SMP Group of Companies (SMP), has announced the successful completion of a deal to acquire Helm Trust Company Limited (Helm), a highly regarded trust and corporate services provider based in Jersey. 


Manx Utilities has announced a major investment in a new metering system, the first stage of which will be to replace ageing key meters with new smart meters, which can be topped up online and over the counter to ensure full accessibility.