Flybe v.2 fails

In a shock move, on 28 January UK regional airline Flybe filed for administration.

Due to operate 292 flights in the week following its sudden closure, all flights are now cancelled and customers are unlikely to receive any refunds, except via a credit card chargeback.

The airline had only resumed flying in April 2022 after having its assets bought by Cyrus Capital following its original bankruptcy just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A message posted on the company website confirmed its closure: “On 28 January 2023, the High Court appointed David Pike and Mike Pink as Joint Administrators of Flybe Limited (“Flybe”).

“Flybe has now ceased trading and all flights from and to the UK operated by Flybe have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

“If you are a passenger affected by this event, please read the advice below.

“If you are due to fly with Flybe today or in the future, 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.

“If you have a Flybe booking sold by an intermediary (i.e. not directly with Flybe) that includes travel on a Flybe flight, please contact the relevant airline or booking / travel agent to confirm if there is any impact to your travel plans as the intermediary may be able to support you with alternative arrangements and provide further advice regarding any claim you may need to make.

“Customers are also advised to monitor the Civil Aviation Authority website for further information”

A more ‘personal’ message was posted on social media: “Since we relaunched the business last April, we’ve been humbled by the goodwill and support shown to us from customers, stakeholders and the whole aviation industry. We had made it our mission to bring the airline back to full capacity efficiently, creating jobs, and establishing better regional connectivity across the UK, using aircraft that have a lower carbon footprint by design. We also hoped to widen our network, partnering with other operators with access to Europe and the US.

“Unfortunately, while we made significant progress in certain areas, there were a number of hurdles in our way which we were unable to overcome.

“We’d like to thank all of our wonderful customers for your support since we relaunched Flybe in April 2022. Its been our absolute pleasure and privilege to serve you.

“Above all, we want to say an enormous thank you to our team of brilliant people, who worked so tirelessly to make Flybe a success.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority said: Flybe, which operated scheduled services from Belfast City, Birmingham and Heathrow to airports across the United Kingdom and to Amsterdam and Geneva, has ceased trading.

“All Flybe-flights have now been cancelled. Please do not go to the airport as flights will not be operating.

“Flybe customers who still need to travel, will need to make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators.

“The UK Civil Aviation Authority will provide advice and information to affected passengers. More information can be found on when it is available.

“Information will also be made available on our Twitter feed @UK_CAA”

Paul Smith, Consumer Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, added: “It is always sad to see an airline enter administration and we know that Flybe’s decision to stop trading will be distressing for all of its employees and customers.

“We urge passengers planning to fly with this airline not to go to the airport as all Flybe flights are cancelled. For the latest advice, Flybe customers should visit the Civil Aviation Authority’s website or our Twitter feed for more information.”

Industry commentators have pointed to previous signs that all was not well with the business, following routes being cancelled at short notice, blamed on failed aircraft deliveries from leasing companies.

The collapse will likely be a blow to Belfast City and Birmingham airports which had been the two key Flybe bases.

Ryanair, never one to miss an opportunity, has launched ‘rescue’ fares starting from £29.99 to accommodate customers affected by Flybe. This includes routes from Belfast to East Midlands, Manchester and London Stansted.

BA is meantime offering discounted one-way fares at a flat fee of £50 / €60 plus taxes, charges and fees on routes between London and Belfast, Newcastle and Amsterdam.

Author: FTN Editor

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