FlyBE shortlists agencies for White Paper lobby role

Regional airline FlyBE is to bring in external public affairs support for the first time as it bids to step up lobbying on the long-awaited White Paper on the future of UK air travel.

A final shortlist of two bidders has been confirmed, with LLM and a joint bid from GPC and PPS Group making final presentations next week.

Citigate Public Affairs, The Communication Group and Politics International also pitched earlier this month for the contract, but FlyBE general manager market development Sara Randall Johnson confirmed they had failed to make the final shortlist.

Teams from LLM and GPC/PPS will go to FlyBE’s Exeter Airport head office next week, said Randall Johnson, who plans to hire one of them by next month.

She added FlyBE wanted to have a ‘greater impact in the political arena’, and that lobbying would be stepped up as the White Paper is due to be published later this year.

FlyBE backs a new runway at Gatwick, and Randall Johnson said the carrier wanted runway slots to be ‘ring-fenced’ for regional flights.

Randall Johnson said the hired agency would also handle corporate profile-raising work in the City to help ‘look for future financial support’.

FlyBE’s 25-year history includes incarnations as Jersey European and British European. It rebranded last year.

Currently the carrier’s consumer PR is handled by Emerald Media and ad hoc investor relations work by Chris Tarry Aviation Industry Research and Advisor. Neither is affected by the PA pitch, according to Randall Johnson.

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