From the article: He said: ‘Flybe no longer feels the Liverpool route is viable. We need to retain an early morning flight out and a late night flight back. Manchester was identified as the only profitable route of its links to the Isle of Man. I’m optimistic the Manchester link will continue in some form.’ No surprise there. As someone who has needed to travel to Liverpool for healthcare on several occasions, I know through experience that Flybe will dump the Liverpool flight in favour of the Manchester flight when there is a problem with crew or a mechanical fault on one of the planes. Many "patient transfer" people have referred to Flybe as FlyMaybe for quite some time. It's now becoming all too true. edited to add... Flybe has never given two hoots about hospital transfer patients - why would they start now?
That is a bit disingenuous and factually incorrect. In the six years I've been flying the route for Flybe I have never known a flight 'dumped' as you decribe it. If an aircraft goes tech, or there is crew sickness, initially its a case of 'fly the plan'' and any delay taken on the service that that aircraft and crew are scheduled for. If problems persist, flights may be consolidated later in the day to ensure the largest number of people can get where they want to be with the assets available. The flights crews and support staff at the airport realise the importace of the health service flights to our community. I have personally delayed flights to allow patients who are running late to get across or back home.
Oh Steve, you can't come on here with genuine facts and and first hand knowledge, you crazy dude. That isn't in the spirit of Manx Forums ;-)
Are you two calling me a liar?
I've been flying to Liverpool for health care between two and four (sometimes more) times a year since 2001. The ONLY airline I flew with in that time which NEVER bumped the early morning Liverpool flight in favour of Manchester or London when there was a problem was Manx Airlines.
BA did it several times on the day I was scheduled to fly (can't speak for other days, obviously) and I've experienced this with Flybe at least three times, possibly four. I'm not talking about being grounded due to weather conditions, I'm talking about other Flybe flights going ahead, on time, while the Liverpool flight is cancelled or delayed to the point where appointments are missed.
If you've never been ill and had to sit for hours waiting for the airline to make up its mind what they were going to do with your flight, missing your appointment, then you probably have little idea how upsetting and frustrating it can be. It's bad enough having to travel so far for essential health care, but knowing every time you get up at four AM to make the flight that you will be at the mercy of the airline adds a layer of anxiety that sick patients could do without.
I don't think it's too much to ask of an airline who enters into a contract with the government to provide the patient transfer service to actually make sure the early morning flight goes ahead, rather than bumping it in favour of Manchester when there's a problem.
I'm frightened about what will become of my lifeline to healthcare. I'm also worried about the wider implications of this issue. I can't understand why the government has let things come to this.
I can personally assure you that the Liverpool flight is, as you allege, NEVER bumped to allow other services to depart. To repeat, if an aircraft goes tech (becomes unservicable) or the crew are ill, it is that aircraft's line of work that suffers, be it Liverpool, Manchester or Gatwick. I can also tell you, that that what happens now is no different than it used to be in Manx Airlines, at least when I was a Captain with them anyway.
If what you are suggesting is that other flights should be cancelled to allow the Liverpool to depart, then that is a seperate argument.
I live on the Isle of Man with my family and have had to use the service at very short notice. It is a lifeline to us and something I know the Govenment will not allow to disappear.
If you want to send me a private message, I'd be happy to chat about it further. But thats it on here.