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20% Fall in Domestic Air Travel

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Flybe have revealed a substantial drop in their domestic air travel routes over recent months.

Domestic Air Travel has been a firm favourite with commuters for many years, most taking a domestic flight to get to and from work.

With the cost of living going up in the UK at the moment people are finding alternative ways to travel instead of using domestic flights such as rail.

The carrier which is based in Exeter runs a daily domestic service from Manchester to Norwich and Aberdeen to Gatwick.

They provided their first-half results showing an increase of pre-tax profits in six months to September of £8.2m to £14.3m, but it was expected to make £36m signifying a drop in earnings.

As well as the poor profits performance, the figures showed weakness within the UK market, winter bookings are down by 1 per cent compared to last year, it was expected for there to be an increase on bookings.

Jim French, chairman and chief executive of Flybe, said: “The fall appeared to be deep-set, this is a trend we have picked up across the industry you have got to look at the industry, not just Flybe.

“I think we are seeing a very, very flat situation.”

He also revealed there has been a 20% fall in domestic air travel over the last four years due to the combination of economic and business cutbacks.

The Civil Aviation Authority have reported UK airports handled 48.7 million passengers in 2007 but that fell to 38 million last year creating a drop of 22 per cent.

There has been competition for domestic flights with the rail industry most recently with commuters favouring the easy and quicker service of using trains.

The Association of Train Operating Companies have said that intercity rail journeys had risen by 19 per cent since 2007 with the top ten domestic air routes being included.

Routes from London to Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow had risen from 32 per cent to 44 percent since 2007.

The Association of Train Operating Companies believe the rise in the rail market is down to a highly competitive market, better services and cheap tickets that encourage more people to travel by rail between cities of the UK.

Ryanair and Easyjet are also said to be scaling down their domestic routes due to the lack of people travelling within the UK by domestic service.

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By Amanda Bainbridge