Flybe on the brink of collapse once again?

Mick Harper

Flybe, the UK-based regional airline, is reportedly on the brink of collapse once again. The carrier is looking to find an additional money injection to avoid closing its doors for the final time. The carrier was already solving identical issues just a year ago, when a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium bought out the ailing regional airline in January 2019.

Now, the airline is reportedly struggling to cope with financial requirements set by Connect Airways, a consortium formed by Cyprus Capital, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic to purchase Flybe the first time it was in trouble. If the information on current trouble at the regional carrier proves to be true, Flybe might see itself collapse right before it was supposed to become Virgin Connect.

Previously, the consortium promised to inject $129 million (£100 million) into the regional airline, which reported a loss of $12 million (£9.4 million) in 2017/2018, with net debt of $76.7 million (£59.1 million). Its last financial report, for the period of six months up until September 30, 2018, indicated that Flybe managed to achieve an operating profit of $14.5 million (£11.2 million) as it cut costs, including its fleet throughout 2018.

Currently, the airline operates 71 aircraft.

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has publicly come out and said that the recent developments at Flybe are an “appalling” state of affairs, as over 1,500 jobs are at risk if the company does collapse. General Secretary of BALPA, Brian Strutton, said that the consortium and the British Government need to “stop hiding” and inform the pilot union about the latest developments at the carrier.

“We have a right to be consulted and the staff have a right to know what is going on,” Strutton continued.

Flybe publicly stated that it “continues to provide great service and connectivity” for passengers and that it does not comment on “rumor or speculation.”


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