- It collapsed for the second time in three years
- 276 staff have been made redundant by administrators
- About 75,000 customers had future bookings
- Aircraft hit by delayed delivery
- Rivals are seeing rebounding demand
LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – British regional airline Flybe went out of business for the second time in three years on Saturday, canceling all flights and making 276 workers redundant.
A statement on Flybe’s website said the airline, which operates scheduled services from Belfast, Birmingham and Heathrow across the UK and to Amsterdam and Geneva, had entered administration, a form of protection from creditors.
“Flyby has now ceased business and all flights to and from the UK operated by Flyby have been canceled and will not be rescheduled,” it said.
It has advised people not to travel to the airport due to aircraft.
A spokesman for administrator Interpath Advisory said around 75,000 Flybe customers had future bookings which would now not be honoured.
Headquartered in Birmingham, Flybe operates flights to 21 routes to 17 destinations across the UK and Europe using a fleet of eight leased Q400 turboprop aircraft.
David Pike and Mike Pink from Interpath were appointed joint administrators at Flybe.
Pike said Flybe has struggled to withstand a number of setbacks since relaunching last year, not least the late delivery of 17 aircraft from charterers that severely compromised efforts to restore capacity and remain competitive.
He said the scaled-back elements of Flybe’s operating platform would be preserved for the short term while a rescue transaction is likely. I encourage any interested parties to get in touch as a matter of urgency.
An Interpath spokesman said 45 members of Flybe’s 321-strong workforce have been retained for the time being.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it would provide advice and information to affected passengers.
“It is always sad to see an airline go into administration and we know Flybe’s decision to cease trading will be difficult for all its employees and customers,” said Paul Smith, consumer director at the CAA.
Hurt by Britain’s COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Flybe first went into administration in March 2020, affecting 2,400 jobs.
In October 2020, it was sold to Thyme Opco Limited, a firm controlled by Cyrus Capital, and resumed flights on a smaller scale in April 2022.
Flybe’s demise contrasts with a post-pandemic pick-up in air travel demand.
Low cost airlines Ryanair (RYA.I)Europe’s largest airline and Britain’s easy jet (EZJ.L) Record bookings have been reported for summer holidays, a sign that consumers are still keen to travel despite an open recession.
Opposition Labor Party transport spokesman Louise High said Flybe’s collapse was “devastating news” for workers and customers.
“Protections for passengers are simply not strong enough – and ministers have sat on their hands for years and failed to introduce long-promised airline insolvency legislation,” he said.
The United Trade Union said the government had failed to learn from Flybe’s first collapse.
Reporting by Mrinmoy Dey and Akrit Sharma in Bengaluru and James Davey in London, Editing by William Mallard and Jason Neely
Our values: Thomson Reuters Trust Policy.
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