With Winter operations updates on the way at the end of the month, it’s a good time you give you a preview of some of our upcoming changes following successful ops team recruitment drive this year.
Highland & Fly UK regional
As part of the new team structure, Richard Greer now assumes control of Fly UK regional service from the mainstream team. This means the Q400 and CRJ fleet based at Birmingham and Southampton. Highland Connect and Fly UK Regional will remain unchanged as far as branding goes however the schedules and planning will be far more streamlined as result of Richards over view. Fly UK Regional will be adding some Q400’s to its operations in a fleet transfer from TOPA
Topa Sky is returning to its roots as expansion to Australia has not proven popular. We will retain pan Australian routes and presence in Cairns however the franchise focus will remain New Zealand, Eastern Australia, Pacific and Indonesia. New consolidated schedules will reflect this as well as some fleet reduction and change.
Fly UK Mainstream
The new team of Seb and Matt were tasked with a fresh view of Fly UK mainstream whilst improving on and adding to our existing comprehensive schedules. One key area for our main hubs was to have a more realistic approach to short haul fleet airframes that are often based “away” overnight in RW ops, currently all the fleet is scheduled to return home at end of day giving nothing but outbound UK services each morning. For offline AI users, this caused congested base airports also. Winter update will bring about the change and a fresh ground up rebuilt flight schedule.
Leased 767’s will join the schedules during winter, date TBC but we hope to add soon. We will assess popularity of these flights to whether its return is sustainable or not. The 767 has not fared well before with old products however a desire from members to see its return for XP11 users and V5 users has been heard and newer payware has come to market since its last use.
With Topa Sky's re-focus…there is a bit of fleet change to account for. On the jet fleet, we will be adding some A320 NEO and changing the 787 fleet as will become clear further on. Topa Q400s will be moving back to Europe but Turbo prop presence for Topa will remain with a small number of ATR’s on routes not able to be served by the Airbus fleet, as well as the trusty and popular Caravans.
Four ex Topa Q400's will be joining the Nordic fleet to expand Helsinki and Gothenburg operations. We will also be retiring the DO228 fleet due to lack of popularity. Highland Connects popular B1900D's will be transferring across, leaving Highland with the Twin Otter, S340and ATR's.
Fly UK Mainstream
The biggest change for Fly UK mainstream has been the decisions to relocate the Topa sky Boeing 787-9 fleet to the UK and Fly UK mainstream. The 787 remains our current most popular long-haul aircraft and the 789 has become the industry standard. XP11 users also have a developing 789 product so we hope bringing it into mainstream fleet will give its users more opportunity. Whilst the 789 has been popular in Topa, it’s become a larger type than we now require for the region so as result some of the 788’s will now go down under in straight swap but a much reduced Topa long haul fleet. Fly UK regional services will also be boosted by two ex Topa Sky Q400's. regional fleet