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Winter Schedule Progress

UKV1412 - Richard Jones

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Winter’s coming – but not quite yet


Update on progress with our Winter schedules and some operational announcements.


In my last update in the forum (CEO Update – Rationalisation & Expansion https://flyuk.aero/forums/topic/1007801-ceo-update-rationalisation-and-expansion/) I mentioned that we were carrying out an overhaul of our basing and route network, and that we intend to introduce this with the Winter Schedules; which normally go live this weekend to tie in with the end of summer time/DST.


Despite some very hard work by the Staff team, some of whom have onerous RW commitments, we are not quite ready to go.  This should be resolved in the next couple of weeks and we are considering phasing the change by route type (HC, Cargo, FLY 2 etc) to ease the workload.  If so NOTAMs will be issued as each phase goes live.  I will just pick out 2 features: as well as our traditional winter destinations such as daily flights to Innsbruck (both Airbus, Boeing and 3/week by FLY 2) we have also kept some short haul flights for the B772 (but you will need some non-European charts!).


This work has also involved producing a ‘master schedule’ with variations for summer and winter so that future schedule changes will be easier to produce and manage.  We have also increased our ability behind the scenes to monitor and analyse member PIREPs and respond to which flights are popular or less so.


I also mentioned previously that we had some fleet and basing changes in mind and I can now make the following additional announcements:


  • Highland Connection. This service will be expanded and re-branded as ‘Highland Connect’ with a new livery, a new aircraft and a new base.  Our existing aircraft are moving through the paintshop as are our 3 newly acquired 30-seat turboprops.  See the forum for some hints and a peak at the new livery.  Two of the new aircraft will be based at Aberdeen and one of the B1900Ds will also move there. 
  • FLY 2. After some debate we have now decided rather than ‘Low Cost’ FLY 2 will be our ‘leisure’ brand focussing on short to medium haul holiday and city break destinations. Long-haul leisure routes will remain served under our main brand, principally from Gatwick and to a lesser extent from Manchester and Edinburgh. FLY 2 bases will remain unchanged, but in an exciting development the management team are in discussions regarding operating FLY 2 from an additional base overseas next summer.
  • Cargo.  Our cargo routes have been simplified but we will continue with our current 3 aircraft types.  East Midlands has now become the busiest UK airport for dedicated freighters and to reflect this over the winter we will carry out a phased move of our Cargo fleet from Stansted to East Midlands.  Next year’s Formula 1 charters will also be supported from East Midlands with it’s easy connection to Silverstone and tours will be amended.   
  • Fly UK passenger schedule.  Some route streamlining has been carried out but we have aimed to ensure there is still wide coverage and a good selection of weekend flights: particularly challenging with long-haul where some sectors return to their base the following day.  I mentioned previously that we were considering re-introducing a regional jet and can now confirm that we plan to purchase some CRJ700s.  Exact numbers and the route plan are still being worked out but current thoughts are that initially they would replace some of the B738s on routes from Birmingham.  Discussions continue regarding purchase/lease of B787s and/or A330s to start replacing our B767s and we are aiming to make an announcement early next year.
  • Once the schedule changes are complete we will aim to provide an updated AI traffic pack. 

I can also announce that we have an updated version of SkyTrack under test which should fix some current issues.


Please bear with us while we complete this work and look out for further announcements soon.


Happy flying

Richard Jones
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Richard Jones - CEO
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