Flybe to be rebranded as Virgin Connect

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Flybe will be rebranded next year as “Virgin Connect” to bring its brand in line with co-owner Virgin Atlantic, it has been announced.

Earlier this year, Flybe was bought for £2.8 million by Connect Airways, a consortium of investors consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital.

As part of the move, the UK regional operator will drop its purple colour scheme in favour of Virgin’s red branding. 

Announcing the new name, Mark Anderson, Connect Airways CEO, said: “We are hugely excited by this milestone in our airline’s 40-year history. We will remain true to our heritage and reason for being, which is offering essential regional connectivity to local communities.”

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“At its heart, Virgin Connect will be passionately focused on becoming Europe’s most loved and successful regional airline.”

The announcement comes after Virgin Atlantic released ambitious plans to drastically increase its Heathrow route network, should the decision regarding slot allocation after the construction of a third runway work in its favour.

Flybe parent Connect Airways is 40% owned by Cyrus Capital Partners, 30% by Stobart Group and 30% by Virgin Atlantic.

The regional operator has 69 aircraft in service, including 54 De Havilland Canada Dash 8s.