Flybe named best short haul airline at travel awards

Flybe plane Flybe, which operates from 39 airports in the UK, has its headquarters in Exeter

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Devon-based airline Flybe has been named the best short haul airline at the 2011 Business Travel Awards.

It is the second consecutive year Flybe has won the award, which it said was in recognition of its "value pricing" and customer service.

Flybe is the only airline in the South West to offer a service from Cornwall to London.

Air Southwest announced earlier this month it was scrapping its London Gatwick route.

Flybe was also shortlisted in the top five for best airline worldwide, alongside British Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Pilot training

Chief Commercial Officer Mike Rutter said being nominated with airline "giants" in the worldwide category was a validation that Flybe was an industry leader.

"Our challenge now is to make it a triple next year," Mr Rutter added.

According to statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority, Flybe carried more UK domestic passengers than any other airline between December 2009 and November 2010.

The company - formerly Jersey European and British European airlines - was rebranded in 2002 and has its headquarters in Exeter, where it is currently building a £24m pilot training academy.

It now operates more than 215 routes to 73 departure points, 39 of them in the UK.

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