Stobart to pull two Flybe jets
Dublin-based Stobart Air is removing two of three jets from its Flybe franchised services out of London Southend Airport just a year after introducing the aircraft.
The move will see four routes operated under the franchise agreement - from London Southend to Milan Malpensa, Venice, Budapest and Prague - no longer operated by Stobart Air.
A third Embraer jet owned by Stobart will continue to service the London Southend-Dublin route. However, that service will be subject to competition from next year by Ryanair.
Ryanair announced in June that it will open a new base at Southend next April. It will base three aircraft there and serve 13 routes to eight countries.
It's believed Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service and is part of the Stobart Group, has plans to redeploy the two jets being removed from the Flybe services. An announcement could be made in coming weeks.
Stobart Group pulled a planned takeover bid for Flybe earlier this year.
Flybe is headed by former CityJet chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener.