Revival hopes ignite again: Flybe applies for license


Flybe, the British regional airline which ceased all of its operations in March 2020, moved a step further into the revival process after its new owner applied to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the country for the operating license on December 1, 2020.

FlyBe sold the business and certain assets to Thyme Opco back on November 4, 2020. The new owner is affiliated with Cyrus Capital, an investment advisory firm, which was one of three former shareholders of the airline.

At the time the acquisition took effect, Thyme Opco expected to bring the regional carrier to service in early 2021. Speaking about the possible future of the failed air carrier, a spokesperson of the new owner considered that Flybe would restart smaller than it had been before the collapse. Before the closure on March 5, 2020, Flybe was the largest regional airline in Europe, operating at 81 airports. 

The airline was one of the first carriers forced to shut down operations partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel. The consequences of the pandemic were not the main reason for the collapse, but it was definitely the last nail in the air carrier’s coffin. Before the COVID-19, Flybe had been set on a recovery path after being rebranded from Virgin Connect and suffering a hit of rising fuel costs, currency volatility, and market uncertainty.

The airline reportedly failed to secure emergency funding seeking a $128 million loan from the British government under a rescue deal in January 2020. The regional air carrier collapsed with the loss of more than 2,400 jobs and with more than 60 aircraft grounded.

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