FlyBe planePeople on the Isle of Man could be “held to ransom” by airlines if flights lost due to Flybe’s collapse are not replaced, an MHK has said.

Rob Callister said while Loganair taking on flights to Liverpool was “fantastic for patient transfers”, it was not “as good” for other people.

The Scottish airline started two daily flights to the city on Thursday.

Mr Callister said reinstating flights to Manchester and Birmingham was needed to “drive pricing down”.

Some people booking remaining Easyjet flights to Liverpool have been charged between £600 and £700 to get to the UK, he added.

An Easyjet spokesman said the airline’s pricing was “demand-led” and it did not “artificially increase ticket prices”.

He added: “As more seats are booked on a flight the price will rise so our fares start low and increase the closer it is to the date of departure.”

Flybe’s collapse on March 5 spelt the end for all island flights to Manchester and Brimingham, and more than half of connections to Liverpool.

Mr Callister said: “If there’s less seats it increases the costs, that’s how their model works. We need the competition there in order to drive some of the pricing down.

“If not, then we are going to be held to ransom.”

On Tuesday Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer told the House of Keys Loganair flights would give priority to patients travelling to UK hospitals as an “interim solution” while long term negotiations continued.

Office of Fair Trading chairman Martyn Perkins said the watchdog had not received any complaints about flight prices.

The airline industry would “find its own price level” based on demand, he said, and “people can decide which way they want to travel”.

Source: BBC