Blue Islands, the Channel Islands airline, flew an ATR72 in its new corporate colours to Exeter Airport this afternoon as it confirmed the start of daily flights from Exeter to Manchester (together with Manchester to Southampton services) from 31 August. It also confirmed three times weekly (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) flights from Exeter to Jersey, commencing 3 September.
Lead in one-way fares to Manchester are £49.99 and Exeter to Jersey, £39.99. All fares now include a generous 23kg hold luggage allowance. Flights are now on sale at the airline’s new website www.blueislands.com and customers are invited to sign up to the airline’s new Blue Skies Club frequent flyer programme.
Blue Islands’ goal is to replace lost capacity on core business routes in the South and South West and to connect people from Jersey and Guernsey. The airline will also be working with partners to offer connections for passengers travelling northbound beyond Manchester.
“Moving into Exeter Airport, where we also hope to set up a base in the next few months and position one of our ATR aircraft, is part of a significant expansion for us, said Paul Simmons, Blue Islands Executive Director, speaking in Exeter. Since 2016, the airline has been operating between the mainland and the Channel Islands in Flybe colours, as a franchise carrier.
Getting established in Exeter, which lost its base carrier earlier this year, will result in the creation of 20 direct jobs, including pilots, cabin crew and maintenance staff. A further 20 more indirect jobs - in ground handling and other associated ground activities add to that. “We have had many applications from ex Flybe personnel and there is a big talent pool there, of course,” Paul noted.
Underlining its commitment to the regions, Blue Islands’ mission is to simplify regional air travel - with no hidden costs and stresses over bag restrictions,” highlighted Blue Islands’ CEO Rob Veron. “In addition, we know that our passengers require strong wellbeing measures before flying and we are pleased to have introduced a very robust set of measures to meet this very important need. More details of our Enhanced Wellbeing Onboard can be found on our website. In addition, we are proud to announce our new product offering, refreshed brand identity and new website. Our offering is tailored to the needs of regional passengers. Our aim is to make flying a pleasure again. It’s the little things that matter and make the welcome difference.” As well as an enhanced scheduled network, Blue Islands operates extensive charter programmes for European tour operators, bringing visitors to the islands from across Europe including Zurich, Rotterdam, Groningen and 20 regional airports throughout Germany.
Blue Islands is pleased to engage the support of Surrey-based specialist aviation comms agency Emerald Media as media conduit and PR representative on the mainland. “The Emerald team has a strong understanding of the regional airline sector and extensive trade contacts. They are well located for our southern UK focus too,” said Rob. Emerald complements marketing and design specialist, Jersey-based Freedom Media, headed by Creative Director Hannah Shellswell.