SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

UK regional airline Flybe ceases trading, cancels all flights

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.

“Flybe has now ceased trading and all flights from and to the UK operated by Flybe have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled,” it said.

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 honoured.

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.

“It is always sad to see an airline enter administration and we know that Flybe’s decision to stop trading will be distressing for all its employees and customers,” said Paul Smith, CAA consumer director.

Hurt by Britain’s COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Flybe first fell into administration in March 2020, impacting 2,400 jobs.

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.

Low cost airlines Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline, and Britain’s easyJet have reported record bookings for summer holidays, in a sign that consumers are still keen on trips despite a looming recession.

Louise Haigh, the opposition Labour Party’s transport spokesperson, said Flybe’s collapse was “devastating news” for staff and customers.

“Protection for passengers is simply not strong enough – and ministers have sat on their hands for years and failed to introduce long-promised airline insolvency laws,” she said.

    Source:
  • Reuters