Europe’s biggest regional airline has collapsed.
Flybe has been in difficulties for months:
Council leaders fight to keep Flybe in Exeter (November 2018)
Flybe to end many flights from Exeter (April 2019)
It was ‘rescued’ last month:
But news just breaking shows that things are now over:
Flybe – the end
After months of turbulence, the UK’s largest domestic carrier Flybe will touch down for the last time tonight (Wednesday).
Coronavirus has led to a spate of passenger cancellations. The airline, already in significant financial difficulties and bailed out by taxpayers only six weeks so, has been unable to secure further funding to keep it in business.
The company employs about 2,000 people, about half at its Exeter headquarters, Jack Warner House, next to Exeter Airport.
FLYBE COLLAPSES AS CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK TAKES TOLL
Europe’s biggest regional airline, Flybe, has collapsed. All flights have been cancelled, wrecking the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers, and more than 2,300 staff face an uncertain future.
The Exeter-based airline, with over 2,000 employees, was bought a year ago by a consortium headed by Virgin Atlantic, and involving Stobart Group and the US hedge fund Cyrus Capital. The owners put in at least £100m, but Flybe was making such heavy losses that the money ran out. The consortium had asked the government for a loan, and to defer its payment of Air Passenger Duty.
The continued spread of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has hit airlines around the world as people stop travelling.
This is not good news for jobs or for the regional economy – although this is fraught with all sorts of issues:
Indeed, what is the future of regional airports?