The airline will operate as an independent company under the Virgin brand, retaining its own Air Operator Certificate, and existing bookings will be unaffected.
A full rebrand is scheduled to be completed next year, including the addition of new logos, signage, a website and liveries in Virgin’s signature red and white colours.
An improved service, standardised baggage rules and a customer loyalty programme will also be introduced.
As part of the Virgin family, Virgin Connect flights will enable passengers to connect from local regional airports – such as Newquay, Southampton and Aberdeen – to Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul flights via Manchester, Glasgow and London Gatwick.
Flybe currently flies more than 210 routes across the UK and Europe, with two main hubs at Birmingham and Manchester airports.
Earlier this year it announced it was closing its hubs at Cardiff and Doncaster airports as it consolidates operations following the takeover.
Connect Airways’ new CEO, Mark Anderson, joined from Virgin Atlantic in June this year. Commenting on the rebrand, he says: “We are hugely excited by this milestone in our airline’s 40-year history. We will remain true to our heritage and reason for being, which is offering essential regional connectivity to local communities.
“At its heart, Virgin Connect will be passionately focused on becoming Europe’s most loved and successful regional airline.
“It will offer travel that is simple and convenient with the personal touch. Our customers will naturally expect the same exceptional travel experience as they do with other Virgin-related brands.
“As part of the Virgin family, we now have a tremendously re-energised team. From here on in, we invite our customers, partners and the communities we serve to join us on every step of this exciting journey,” he adds.