Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, collapsed into administration in the early hours of Thursday, grounding planes just after 3am. This has left passengers and staff stuck across the country as well as in cities on the continent
The airline ceased trading with “immediate effect” and chief executive Mark Anderson said the company had made “every possible attempt” to avoid collapse but had been “unable to overcome significant funding challenges”.
Mr Anderson said: ”The UK has lost one of its greatest regional assets.
“Flybe has been a key part of the UK aviation industry for four decades, connecting regional communities, people and businesses across the entire nation.
“I thank all our partners and the communities we have been privileged to serve. Above all I would like to thank the Flybe team for their incredible commitment and dedication.”
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Who owns Flybe airline?
Flybe is owned by British consortium Connect Airways which was formed in December 2018 to acquire the airline.
Flybe had put itself up for sale in November 2018 following a profit warning issued the month before.
The founders of Connect Airways are Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Aviation.
Now administrators have been appointed after crisis talks on Wednesday failed to secure a rescue package.
Can I get my money back?
Passengers and staff have been asked to plan alternative routes home after the Civil Aviation Authority said there will be no repatriation flights as it was not commissioned by the Government.
This is unlike when airlines Monarch and Thomas Cook failed – as there is “enough capacity in the market for people to travel via alternative airlines, rail and coach operations”.
A refund from the airline is highly unlikely.
Most of Flybe travellers purchased flight tickets separately, not as part of a package holiday.
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This now means most will have to rely on a refund from their credit or debit card provider, or they could claiming from their travel insurance.
A Government spokesman said it has asked coach and train operators to accept Flybe tickets and airlines to offer reduced fares “to ensure passengers can make their journeys as smoothly as possible”.
As passengers plan alternative routes home and attempt to recoup lost money, Citizens Advice has warned about the risk of scams.
Senior consumer expert Jan Carton said: “Unfortunately we’ve found that, in these situations, scammers quickly jump on the bandwagon.
“If you’re a Flybe customer and you’re contacted by someone offering to act for you to recover your money it’s more than likely to be a scam.
“Flybe customers who bought tickets directly from the company won’t be protected by the Atol scheme.
“However, if you went through a travel agent or other third party you may be covered.
“Some people may be able to get their money back if they paid by credit card.
“If people have accommodation booked, they should check the terms and conditions to see if they can get a refund.
“If they can afford to pay for another flight, it’s also worth checking if they can alter the dates.”
Several companies have already offered their support for Flybe passengers and staff.
Free travel for Flybe passengers and staff is being provided by all First Rail train operators, which consist of Great Western Railway, Avanti West Coast, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express.
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