Southampton recovers after Flybe’s demise; runway extension is go
Located on the UK’s south coast, Southampton Airport is run by AGS Airports, which also manages Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports in Scotland. The airport’s 1,720-metre runway has made it unsuitable for the likes of easyJet and Ryanair to offer flights due to the payload limitations required for flights to popular tourist destinations.
As a result, Flybe was the main carrier at the airport for the last 20 years, until it ceased operations in early 2020. Flybe used predominantly Q400s in 2019 on a range of domestic routes and services to France, while partner airlines Blue Island and Eastern Airways used a mix of ATRs, Jetstream 41s and Saab 2000s.
In June, Southampton Airport was granted planning approval to extend the runway by 164 metres. How long this takes to build and become operational remains to be seen.
After the collapse of Flybe in early 2020 other carriers have stepped in to operate many of the existing services and also launch new ones. Eastern Airways and Loganair were the first to step in and take up domestic routes to Belfast BHD, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. Since then, Eastern has added Dublin and Gibraltar, KLM has returned to serve Amsterdam, while Blue Island serves Guernsey and Jersey. Meanwhile BA CityFlyer is planning to serve 11 international destinations at weekends using its E190s this summer, travel restrictions permitting.