Regional airline launches King Kev

Regional airline Flybe has named a plane on its Newcastle to Gatwick route 'Kevin Keegan' in honour of the football legend.

Fittingly for the man widely known as 'King Kev', the 78 seat Bombardier Q400 plane has the registration G-KKEV. The plane is said to be one of the most environmentally sensitive and fuel efficient in service, offering a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency over other short haul aircraft.

Flybe CEO, Mike Rutter, was born in Newcastle and was at the naming ceremony with Kevin Keegan. "It’s Flybe's own small contribution to not only honouring one of Europe’s most well-known sporting heroes and an icon to the people of Newcastle but also in recognising Newcastle as a key part of the Flybe network," said Rutter.

In response Keegan, now manager at Newcastle United after playing for the club in the early 80s, said: “I’m delighted that Flybe has named one of its aircraft after me. To be in the same company as George Best and Matt Le Tissier is a great feeling!"

“Newcastle has always been a special place for me and, where my career is concerned, the fans and the city have all given me so much so I’m naturally absolutely thrilled that Flybe is also honouring them with this unique aircraft. The North East is a football-mad region and it’s a good feeling to know local people will now be able to fly to London on an aircraft dedicated to Newcastle United!,” Keegan added.

As well as flights to Gatwick, Flybe also offers flights from Newcastle to Belfast, Brussels, Cardiff, Exeter, Jersey, Limoges, Gatwick, Rennes and Southampton with fares starting from £21.99 including taxes and airport charges.