13 January, 2020

Flybe flying into history........

Just a year after a last-ditch rescue from a consortium including Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air, Flybe, the YK regional airline is on the very brink of bankruptcy. 

The airline's boss Mark Anderson sent an email to staff at the Exeter HQ saying that "All my energy, and that of our Leadership Team, is very focused on continuing to turn Flybe, soon to be Virgin Connect, around and deliver the heartfelt service that our customers expect,"- the email continued "I do appreciate that the headlines some of you have already read are disturbing but I want you to know that we are determined to do everything we can to make this work."

Anderson said he was "extremely grateful" to the staff for their hard work and commitment, yet the former Executive Vice President - Customer, for Virgin Atlantic doesn't seem too confident that any rescue deal will be successful.  He and other senior managers at the troubled airline have already held secret talks with and appointed EY Earnst and Young to take on the role of administrators for when the pretty much inevitable happens and Flybe collapses.  

There was no ray of hope from Stobart, a spokesperson at Stobart Air said: “Stobart Air does not comment on speculation.” so far there has been no impact on Stobart Air.

Pilots union Balpa's Brian Strutton, was very angry,  "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. According to reports, the airline could have collapsed over the weekend, which would have been devastating news."

The airline had been in talks with both the Department for Transport and the Business Department trying to get a government bailout or support to facilitate a rescue deal, yet from all indications, not such deal or money will be forthcoming.  The airline has also been asking if it could defer payment of a air passenger duty bill, whilst we understand this had been talked about, the government is unlikely to grant deferred terms.

Others to turn down 'investment' opportunities are said to include Ryanair, Indigo Partners, Air France and TUI.  The future of the 40-year old airline is looking very bleak and unless some last-minute rescue deal comes from outside the usual suspects, it will be a surprise if Flybe will still be flying come Monday. 

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