Regional Airline To Allow Late Pregnancy Passengers To Travel <


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Regional Airline To Allow Late Pregnancy Passengers To Travel

By Mike Mitchell

February 11, 2010 - When a globally successful business can trace its roots back to having started out by simply fulfilling the need for lifeline travel to and from a European island community, it’s no surprise that it continues to listen and respond to the ongoing travel challenges of those same islanders.

This is why, when a Europe Regional Airline, Flybe was approached last year by one of its regular customers from the Channel Islands to consider reviewing the general airline policy that restrict women in late pregnancy from flying, it wasted no time in getting down to business. 

The conundrum was this - women who are more than 34 weeks pregnant throughout in the world are not permitted to fly even if they have a valid medical certificate stating they are fit to travel.


However, the understandable limitations of some island medical facilities mean that some mums-to-be, especially those deemed ‘at risk’ often have no option but to travel - or jeopardizes both their own and/or their baby’s health. So they were incurring considerable expense, not to mention the additional stress in being so far away from friends and family at such an emotionally charged time, by travelling to attend mainland medical facilities sometimes well before their due date. Living up to its reputation as the UK’s Number One domestic airline, the Exeter-based carrier vowed to leave no stone unturned in trying to resolve the situation.

Now, having fully investigated and unraveled the various policies and regulations constraining such specific travel and with the full support and advice of relevant medical opinion, Flybe has come up with a fully acceptable solution. As a result, the airline is now pleased to announce that, on specific routes only, it can accept passengers at any stage of pregnancy who need to attend mainland hospitals and who hold a signed medical certificate confirming that they are fit to fly.


The approved Flybe routes for passengers who are more than 34 weeks pregnant needing to fly to attend specialist hospital appointments related to their condition and who hold a signed medical certificate confirming that they are fit to fly. Passengers who are just 28-34 weeks pregnant still do require a medical certificate and can travel on any route. 

Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer says: “Flybe is always ready to listen and respond wherever possible to the needs of our passengers. When we were approached to take a re-look at airline policy to try and resolve this issue for the island communities we serve, we didn’t hesitate as the specific nature of our regional business model means that some 80% of our shorter routes are over water, many of which serve such transport-restricted island communities. 

“Although we had many, many challenges to overcome, we are delighted that, as a result of this adjustment to passenger policy, women in the later stages of pregnancy can now rest easier in the knowledge that at least they can now continue to fly to and from home for specialist mainland medical care.” 

Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Feto-Maternal Medicine at Southampton University Hospital, David Howe comments: “We are delighted that Flybe has been able to make this critical policy change. To the small number of women each year to which this is so important, this will make a huge difference at a time when they are already under considerable stress for other reasons and I am very grateful that Flybe has taken the time and trouble to consider and change this policy.” 

Flybe operates a total 106 flights a week between the Channel Islands and Southampton, 166 between London Gatwick and 52 to and from the Isle of Man and Liverpool with fares from £28.99 one way including taxes and charges. 

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