Europe’s biggest regional airline reported to be at risk of collapse
Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, is at risk of collapse, according to a Sky News report. The airline operates more UK domestic flights than any other and is reportedly in talks with the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport (DfT) over emergency financing. The move is attributed to rising losses.
On 13 January neither the airline nor the British government felt able to address the speculation, saying only: “Flybe continues to provide great service and connectivity for our customers while ensuring they can continue to travel as planned.”
The Sky report said the general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa), Brian Strutton, commented: “I am appalled that once again the future of a major UK airline and hundreds of jobs is being discussed in secret with no input from employees or their representatives.
“We demand that the owners and the government departments involved stop hiding and talk to us about Flybe. We have a right to be consulted.”
Flybe employs 2,000 staff. Flybe, which flies 8.5m passengers a year to 170 European destinations, put itself up for sale in late 2018, warning that its cash reserves were running low and was subsequently bailed out for £2.2m by the Connect Airways consortium, which comprised Virgin, Stobart and Cyrus Capital.
If Flybe goes under, it would be the second major UK airline collapse in four months, following Thomas Cook Group’s collapse last September.