Flybe Ceases Operations in Europe

Flybe, one of Europe’s largest regional airlines, announced it was grounding flights and shuttering operations effective immediately.

The airline posted a message to customers on its website.

“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.

“For flights booked on Flybe services operated by our franchise partners, Eastern Airways and Blue Islands, these continue to operate as normal today and we ask you to contact them directly,” said the post.

Chief executive Mark Anderson said the company had made “every possible attempt” to avoid collapse but had been “unable to overcome significant funding challenges.”

While coronavirus had likely been the final nail in the coffin for the airline, Flybe had been struggling for a while.

The airline, owned by Connect Airways, had been trying to balance the books through a number of measures but was still losing more than $20 million per year.

The UK government stepped in to rescue the airline earlier this year, but its efforts, which included a deferral of taxes, potential loans and more, ultimately couldn’t save Flybe.

As demand fell with the spread of coronavirus, the airline could no longer hold on and investors pulled the plug.

Flybe passengers are being offered free rail travel from First Rail train operators, including Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast.

EasyJet has also offered rescue fares for passengers and free flights for Flybe staff.

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