Flybe has struck a deal with its aircraft manufacturer which will see it run smaller planes on its regional flights from next year as part of a turnaround plan.
The Exeter-based carrier has cancelled an order for 20 88-seater passenger jets from Embraer and will instead lease smaller turbo-prop Bombardier aircraft to fly on routes not served by airlines running bigger planes from 2015.
The agreement struck with the Brazilian Embraer announced yesterday replaces a £800million deal made in 2010 to acquire 35 E175 jets.
Flybe has already taken delivery of 11 E175s and will take a further four but not until 2018, a three year delay.
It will lease the Bombardier Q400 Dash8 aircraft, which seat 71, from US-based Republic Airways, which has struck a parallel deal to buy 50 E175s from Embraer.
Saad Hammad, Chief Executive of Flybe said the deal was “a significant step towards resolving all our legacy fleet issues”, adding: “Let us be clear, there is more to do.”
The “landmark” agreements were struck after the carrier cut jobs and unprofitable bases last year.
The firm reported a £10.6million profit in the year to end of March, compared to a £39.4milllion loss in 2012/13.
Flybe operates from all the major Scottish airports and smaller ones in the Highlands and islands through a franchise deal with Paisley-based Loganair