Europe’s largest regional airline marks first flight of new international route under UK Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund
Dundee Airport rolled out the purple carpet today (Monday, 23 May) and colourful ‘Oor Wullie’ characters lined up for an unusual welcome salute to celebrate the inaugural flight of Flybe’s brand new year-round service between Dundee and Amsterdam Schiphol Airports that will operate up to six times a week.
The event, marking the much-awaited start of the airport’s first international route and made possible through UK Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund, was attended by a host of dignitaries including Lord Andrew Dunlop, UK Under Secretary of State for Scotland; Minister for Transport Scotland and the Islands, Humza Yousaf and Bob Duncan, the Lord Provost of Dundee City Council, who joined Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer, Vincent Hodder and Managing Director of Dundee Airport operator HIAL, Inglis Lyon.
Passengers were clearly thrilled to be part of the high profile event to mark what is a significant milestone for both Flybe and Dundee Airport. The first person to make a booking on the inaugural flight was presented with a special certificate and a free flight voucher from Flybe: and the arriving aircraft was welcomed with a spectacular traditional water arc. Inbound passengers’ delight was obvious when they were ‘piped’ onto Scottish soil and presented with a very special deplaning gift featuring an attractive selection of local products.
This is now the fourth route operated by Flybe under the UK Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund*. It represents a strong affirmation of Flybe’s commitment to improving connectivity for the UK regions and in turn supporting regional businesses, regional tourism and providing a one stop link to the world.
Scotland office minister Andrew Dunlop said: “I am really pleased that the UK Government has been able to invest in Flybe’s new Dundee to Amsterdam route, giving Dundee great links to Europe and beyond. The city – and Tayside – are on the up, with exciting new developments poised to bring jobs, prosperity and opportunities to the area. Good air connectivity is a key part of supporting that economic development.”
Residents of Dundee and its environs now have the opportunity to travel direct from regional Scotland to Amsterdam, a hugely popular European city destination in its own right and a major global transport hub from where there is a wide choice of convenient, onward travel to the rest of the world.
Minister for Transport Scotland and the Islands, Humza Yousaf, said: “This high-profile service is exciting news for Dundee and I’m delighted to see it get off the ground today.
“Having a link to Schiphol, a major global hub airport, will bring huge benefits to businesses in Dundee and across the catchment area by improving access to global markets. It’s also another route for inbound travellers looking for a taste of the fantastic tourist experience on offer in Scotland. I wish Dundee Airport and Flybe every success with this service and have no doubt it will prove popular with travellers.”
Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s chief revenue officer, added: “We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support with which this new route has been received and look forward to it going from strength to strength. We are honoured to be the first airline to provide Dundee travellers with this crucial international air link.
“It is a another example of Flybe’s commitment to strengthening our position as the airline of choice for customers in Scotland who have a need for air travel but live in areas not previously well served. Just as importantly, the route also provides a convenient inbound service from Amsterdam, both to those travelling for business purposes and for those visiting to experience the wealth of tourism opportunities this beautiful area has to offer.”
Inglis Lyon, managing director, Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) said: “This new route is a great example of stakeholders and partners, governments and the local people, working together to secure investment and deliver essential connectivity.
“It brings an undisputed, exciting, pan European feel to Dundee and the surrounding area. Forward bookings are encouraging and it is important we continue to harness this enthusiasm for the region’s long term success.”