Hi Pete 'n' Julie,
Your quite correct about Excel passing on the bookings to other airlines, in the last year we have booked with them 4 times, but only on 2 of the occasions we have actually flown with their own airline. Perhaps we have been lucky but this has never created any problems, nor flight time changes.
A few weeks ago it was Air Malta we flew with, no in-flight entertainment, but thats not a problem for me as I like to pass the time reading. I'm off again in 9days time so it will be interesting to see who we actually end up flying with this time!!