Flybe retires its last BAe 146

Flybe has retired its last BAe 146. The airline once operated a large fleet of BAe 146s, including examples of all three variants. It had also been the launch customer for the Avro RJX, with an order for fourteen. When that program was cancelled, however, the airline was forced to seek other solutions for its fleet needs, and ultimately selected the Embraer 195. It has gradually retired its 146s as the Brazilian jets arrived. All 146s were to have left its fleet by early 2008, but the airline was forced to retain two examples for operations into Guernsey. The Embraer 195 would be weight-restricted at Guernsey because of the poor condition of the runway. Flybe asked for compensation from the island’s government for the higher costs it had to incur to retain such a small fleet. When none was forthcoming, it decided to withdraw the 146s and use Bombardier Q400s on the Guernsey services. BAe 146-300 G-JEBA (msn E3181) operated the last service from London Gatwick to Guernsey, BE909, on 25 October. The aircraft then positioned to Exeter as BE1146 on 26 October. Flybe offered seats on the positioning flight for UKP31.99. In the event, however, only 18 of G-JEBA’s 112 seats were filled. Flybe first began operating BAe 146s in 1993, when it was still known as Jersey European.

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