For the second time in three years, British regional airline Flybe halted operations on Saturday, canceling all flights and laying off 276 employees.
Flybe, which operated regular flights between Belfast, Birmingham, and Heathrow as well as to Amsterdam and Geneva, said that company has entered administration, a process that protects debtors, in a statement on its website.
All Flybe-operated flights out of and into the United Kingdom have been canceled and won’t be rescheduled, the statement read.
It advised people due to fly not to travel to airports.
A spokesperson for administrators Interpath Advisory said about 75,000 Flybe customers had future bookings that would now not be honored.
Headquartered in Birmingham, Flybe operated flights on 21 routes to 17 destinations across the UK and European Union using a fleet of eight leased Q400 turboprop aircraft.
David Pike and Mike Pink from Interpath were appointed joint administrators to Flybe.
Pike said Flybe had struggled to withstand a number of shocks since its relaunch last year, not least the late delivery of 17 aircraft from lessors which severely compromised its efforts to build back capacity and remain competitive.
He said scaled-back elements of Flybe’s operating platform would be preserved for a short period while there was a possibility of a rescue transaction. He encouraged any interested party to make contact urgently.
A spokesperson for Interpath said of Flybe’s workforce of 321, 45 had been retained for the time being.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it would provide advice and information to affected passengers.
In October 2020 it was sold to Thyme Opco Ltd, a firm controlled by Cyrus Capital, and in April 2022 it resumed flights, albeit on a smaller scale.
Flybe’s demise contrasts with a post-pandemic pick-up in demand for air travel.