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 Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 10:10 GMT
Airline considers reopening route
A Dash 8 at Plymouth City Airport
BA's Dash 8s could be transferred to another airline
The airline Flybe is considering re-opening its flights from Exeter Airport to Birmingham.

Flybe, which was formerly known as British European Airways, closed its Birmingham route in 2001.

The airline's managing director said the company is considering restarting it because it believes it is important to the South West.

The decision follows news that British Airways (BA) expects to eventually pull out of its operation of flights from Plymouth and Newquay.

Flybe aircraft
Flybe said Birmingham is an important link
But BA has said it will keep its South West services until 2005, when it hopes to transfer them to another airline.

BA said it is in negotiations with other operators to take over the services - which are operated using propeller-driven aircraft - because it wants an all-jet fleet.

A spokeswoman said: "We are fairly confident we shall find someone to take them. But if we cannot transfer the flights to someone else, we will continue them."

There are fears that any threat to air links would have repercussions for the local economy.

Flybe Managing Director, Jim French, said: "Birmingham is an increasingly important airport with links to the rest of the world."


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11 Dec 02 | England
10 Dec 02 | England
19 Nov 02 | England
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