A total of 75,000 Flybe passengers are hit and 300 jobs are lost as the airline goes bust for the second time in less than three years
- Flybe passengers faced chaos after the airline collapsed into administration
- A total of 75,000 passengers are booked on flights in coming weeks and months
A total of 75,000 people hoping to travel on Flybe faced chaos after the airline collapsed into administration and cancelled all flights yesterday.
News that it had ceased trading, with nearly 300 staff later made redundant, came in the early hours as customers prepared to head to airports.
It is the second time in under three years Flybe has gone bust. Some 2,500 people hoping to fly yesterday were told not to travel to airports unless they had booked an alternative.
Most will be stuck at UK airports but about 300 were due to return from Geneva or Amsterdam, Flybe’s overseas destinations, yesterday and today.
(File Photo) Customers were upset Flybe was taking bookings, and add-ons for luggage and seat upgrades, right up until going bust
The 75,000 affected are booked on flights in coming weeks and months. The regional airline, which was relaunched last April, is not arranging alternative flights.
READ MORE: Will I get a refund? All your questions answered
Rival Ryanair is offering £29.99 ‘rescue fares’, British Airways is doing the same for £50, plus taxes, and easyJet is charging £49 for domestic routes and £79 for flights abroad. Train company LNER let Flybe customers travel free yesterday and will do so again today.
Customers were upset Flybe was taking bookings, and add-ons for luggage and seat upgrades, right up until going bust. Most will not get any money back. Linda Morrison, 62, from Belfast, booked a flight to Leeds-Bradford for a wedding in York in March.
She said: ‘They let us book a flight at 9pm on Friday, only to go into administration three hours later. It’s disgraceful.
‘We will have to book another flight for March but don’t have the money right now.’
Aviation experts reassured Britons that this was not the start of a summer of turmoil for airlines and holiday firms.
Nicky Kelvin, head of travel website The Points Guy UK, said: ‘With a quick recovery coming to the travel and aviation industries post- pandemic, the collapse of Flybe is unlikely to be the start of a domino effect.
There is still a faint hope a buyer might step in. If not, Interpath will look to find a buyer for Flybe’s assets, which include valuable flight slots
‘Flybe needed to expand its fleet quickly to match its network ambitions but it was plagued by supply chain issues, especially with delays to new aircraft.
‘The passenger demand seemed to be there, which is a good sign for other airlines.
‘But because capacity and network size were stifled, Flybe didn’t have much of a chance.’ Administrators at Interpath have taken over the company, which was due to serve 17 destinations across the UK and Europe this year.
Belfast City, Birmingham and London Heathrow handled the most flights.
Over the next week, starting tomorrow, it was scheduled to operate 292 flights – around 22,700 seats. Flybe went bust in March 2020 with the loss of 2,400 jobs as Covid ravaged the travel market.
The company was bought in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.
Interpath’s David Pike blamed a series of ‘shocks’, including the late delivery of 17 planes. Covid travel restrictions also hampered the relaunch.
Attempts to find fresh investment or a buyer had failed, said Mr Pike.
There is still a faint hope a buyer might step in. If not, Interpath will look to find a buyer for Flybe’s assets, which include valuable flight slots.
Interpath said 277 of Flybe’s 321 staff have been made redundant, with the remaining 44 retained to help wind up the company or assist if a buyer can be found.
Belfast, its main hub, was home to 138 staff, with another 99 at Birmingham airport, 69 at its Birmingham HQ and the rest at other sites. Flybe operated eight leased planes.
The Government said its priority was supporting anyone trying to get home and those who have lost jobs.
A spokesman said: ‘The majority of destinations served by Flybe are within the UK with alternative transport arrangements available.’
Source: Read Full Article