Flybe files for Bankruptcy amidst Coronavirus
All of British airline Flybe’s flights have been grounded and the business has ceased trading with immediate effect. Flybe was once the largest independent regional airline in Europe until the morning of 5 March 2020, when the airline filed for bankruptcy and ceased all operations. Flybe provided more than half of UK domestic flights outside London, with over 210 routes across 15 countries.
Flights operated by Flybe and Stobart Air have all been cancelled, but those operated by franchisees Blue Islands and Eastern Airways are still in operation. Part of the blame has been placed on the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Flybe’s trading. Chief executive, Mark Anderson, said that Flybe had made every possible attempt to prevent the collapse but were unable to overcome significant funding challenges.
After the UK government failed to grant a proposed £100 million loan to the company, Virgin Atlantic stated that Connect Airways could no longer commit to continued financial support the airline. A government spokesman said the closure of Flybe was a commercial decision by the company and that Flybe’s financial difficulties were longstanding, well-documented and pre-date the outbreak of Covid-19.
“We’re here to assist”
The company took to social media to say, “We’re here to assist,” before listing ways customers can contact them with questions.
“Customers, if you are due to fly with Flybe, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline. Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers,” states the airline’s website. Over 2,000 jobs have been lost during the airline’s closure. The website addresses Flybe’s employees, creditors and suppliers by stating, “If you require any further information or assistance, please contact the Administrators by email.”
The airline was launched in 1979 as Jersey European Airways. Flybe carried 8 million passengers a year between 56 airports in the UK and Europe.