Flybe started operations on 1 November 1979 as Jersey European Airways (JEA), after taking over the operations of Intra Airways. Jersey European Airways was the brainchild of John Habin, a resident of Jersey and the majority investor in JEA. Having sold Aviation Beauport and other business interests, Habin established a few key routes from Jersey to the UK. Jersey European Airways was taken over in 1983 by Jack Walker's Walker Steel Group who were already the parent company of Blackpool based charter airline Spacegrand Aviation. The two airlines were run separately, with partially shared management, until their amalgamation within the Walker Aviation Group in 1985, under the Jersey European name. The airline rebranded as British European in June 2000 and later shortened this title to Flybe on 18 July 2002 and aimed to reposition itself as a full service, low-fare airline. On 3 November 2006 it was announced that agreement in principle had been reached for Flybe to acquire BA Connect, with the exception of London City Airport services. The acquisition was completed in March 2007. The airline is owned by Rosedale Aviation Holdings (69%), Flybe staff (16%) and British Airways (15%) as a consequence of the acquisition of BA Connect. It has 3,000 employees at January 2008.